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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflection for December 10

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

December 10, 2017 — Second Sunday of Advent
Mark 1:1-8
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

There is a path to happiness, the “Eye” road, and a path to unhappiness the “I” road. In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist turns the gaze of his audience from himself to Jesus: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.” He proclaims elsewhere in words we repeat at every Mass: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.” This is the “Eye” road: Look to Jesus.

The “I” road, on the other hand, is self-centeredness. It’s the foolish decision to build our world on ourselves. This is the sin of Lucifer, the sin of pride: “I am the center of the universe.” But this makes our world too small. Any world with a limited human being at its center must be an insignificant, boring world!

On the other hand, when we allow Jesus to live in us, when we let his love flow through us to others, life becomes rich and joyful. Jesus said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”

There are many ways we can get stuck on the “I” road. Some are obvious: pride, selfishness, always bring conversations around to ourselves. Other ways are not so obvious: self-pity (“Why me?”), blaming oneself for the failures of children or relatives (“Where did I go wrong?”), second-guessing oneself for past decisions when this can’t change anything (“If only I had...”).

To get from the “I” road to the “Eye” road, we must look to Jesus first, to others second, and ourselves third. Like Mary, we should see ourselves as servants of the Lord. Like Mary, we should look to the needs of others, as Mary did for her cousin Elizabeth, visiting and helping her before she gave birth to John the Baptist.

Wearing the Miraculous Medal is a wonderful way to see Jesus as the “One mightier than I,” as did John the Baptist. Wearing the medal invites us to pray with Mary, “My spirit finds joy in God, my Savior. He who is mighty has done great things for me.” The Miraculous Medal lights up the “Eye” road to a full, joyful life.

Read last week's reflection.