Personal Reflection Week 1

Personal Reflection Week 1


“And coming in, he [Gabriel] said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

Luke 1:28

While the Week 1 Meditation is focused on The Visitation, the more important event preceded it … The Annunciation. To that sacred event, I want to share this experience.

In September 2015, I went to Maryland to help my sisters take care of our Mom for a week as she visited her home of almost 60 years for a two weeks’ stay though she had moved into a living-assisted facility. While I was there, we had many conversations and there is one of note that I’ll always remember.

During my last afternoon there, a young neighbor, Jesse, had stopped in to sit and chat with Mom and me. After a while, we noticed MSNBC (Mom was a strong advocate for “It Takes a Village,” and the book’s author) was reporting on certain Planned Parenthood activities that were in the news extensively at that time. Jesse asked what I thought of the coverage. Initially, I wasn’t sure how to answer her. I deliberated for a moment, then something inside encouraged me to state what I believe but had never really put into words:

“If you believe in Jesus Christ,

Then, you believe in the Annunciation

When God became man.

As God is life,

Then, Mary had life within her at conception, and,

As Jesus is man and is not humanly different than another man,

Man has life at conception, as well.”

While Jesse was silent, my Mom replied, “I never thought of it that way.” While we did not have any further discussion about the issue, I hoped their beliefs about life and its commencement had been strengthen or maybe altered in some way. Later that evening, as Mom and I were saying our good-byes, she said, “It was nice to get to know you again, John.” She passed away three weeks later.

As we celebrate the most singular and greatest of mysteries – God becoming man - let us think anew, as my Mom did, about this blessed event and its relevance to each of us, but also imagine the moment when we were announced as one of God’s children … at our own conception.

Questions to consider:

1. When faced with decisions, do you rely on your religious beliefs or social mores?

2. Have your religious beliefs ever caused you to be inconvenienced? How did you handle the situation?

John Conlisk

September 2017