Read Luke 1:5-2:52 (Infancy Narrative)
The Infancy Narrative helps make Jesus human to us. He was born to a mother and a father. They were parents to him and worried when he was lost, like we would worry if our son or daughter was missing. His mother is like any other mother or parent for that matter. She will suffer alongside her son (2:35). A parent hurts too when his/her child is hurting. It comes to reason, then, that since God is our Father, He must suffer when we suffer. He is always by our side, witnessing all our joys and sorrows.
- In verse 1:44, Elizabeth says to Mary “when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the child in my womb leaped for you.” What’s your reaction to being in the presence of the Lord? Do you recognize His presence? If so, how does it make you feel? If you do not recognize His presence, how can you make yourself better prepared to notice it?
- Zechariah and Mary had different responses to the angel’s news to them. Do you welcome God’s grace into your life? Do you deny or question it? How can you better open your heart to it?
- In verse 2:19, Luke writes that “Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” How does Luke know this? Did he talk to Mary? What do you think Mary pondered? Does this help you view Mary as a mother and Jesus as a boy (later, a man)?
Additional Questions (Found in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – Gospel of Luke)
- Question for Understanding 1:28 (ICSB)
- Question for Understanding 1:35 (ICSB)
- Question for Understanding – Topical Essay: Mary, Ark of the Covenant (ICSB)
- Question for Application 1:18, 34 (ICSB)
- Question for Application 1:25 (ICSB)
- Question for Application – Topical Essay: Mary, Ark of the Covenant (ICSB)
- Question for Understanding – Topical Essay: The Census of Quirinius (ICSB)
- Question for Understanding 2:7 (ICSB)
- Question for Understanding 2:14 (ICSB)
- Question for Understanding 2:29-32(ICSB)
- Question for Application 2:14 (ICSB)
- Question for Application 2:19 (ICSB)
- Question for Application 2:34-35 (ICSB)
- Question for Application 2:49 (ICSB)
Discuss the readings and/or study questions by reading/posting comments below.
I had an experience today that I feel the need to share of God in our life. We have a friend called Bob who has been very ill. He has fought cancer 3-4 times. I knew as of 2-3 weeks ago that he was terminal & preparing to die. I was sitting at lunch today reading when he came suddenly to mind. I quickly wondered if he had passed. I looked at the time. It was 3:05. I continued reading when at 3:16 I got a text from a mutual friend saying that Bob had passed. Wow! Goose bumps! About 15 minutes later, I realized that I had been reading “In His Spirit” by Richard Hauser, a book about the Holy Spirit in our lives, during this whole time. Praise God!
In regards to question #2, I can find it easy to be thankful to God when a bad situation turns good. For instance, when my loved on is ill and I know that I must pray to God to ask that He heal that person. Once the person is better, it is easy to see that the person is better, and I can praise God. However, in everyday life, it is harder for me to remember to trust in God and to later thank Him for taking care of the little things. Therefore, I am open to God’s grace at times, but I need to take the time everyday to allow God’s grace into my life on a more ongoing basis. I need to trust Him more with all things, not just the big things.
Question #3-I believe Luke 2:19 ‘Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.’ She had not forgotten her conversation with angel Gabriel and all that was said. Mary was a woman of prayer & reflection. Mary had already experienced God’s power & presence like no other person. She really is a wonderful role model for all of us. If we could only trust God in our lives as she did. How willing are we to say, “Yes,Lord!”
I think Luke spoke to Mary and has given us some glimpses into her thoughts and feelings. This is helping me to better see Jesus as an actual human boy/man. He had a mother who loved him and took care of him. Like all mothers, Mary worried about her son. It must have been so hard to see Jesus go through all that he did . . . people hating him, threats made against him, and most of all being crucified. What an awful painful experience for Mary. The pain she must have felt probably was like an arrow in her heart. However, she was probably also so proud of her son. To watch him grow up and to know so much about God must have been an amazing thing to experience. As with any mom, I think all these experiences touched her and she kept some of these experiences close to her heart always and was able to share them with Luke.
My reaction to the presence of God differs. There have been times where I totally am aware by a sense of a special Presence where I feel a warmth, a sense being very special & a joy coming from deep within. Sometimes it is laughter where other times I am overcome by tears. I know that God is always present in our lives but unfortunately I tend to take His presence for granted on most days. I just need to spend more time daily in prayer & study especially quiet time to become more aware in my daily relationships.
In regards to Questions #1, I also have times in my life that I have a strong connection to God. In those times, I have a sense of well being. I am so content. It is such a wonderful feeling, I just want to let it envelop me and remain within me. At other times, however, I go about my day without a thought about God until my nightly prayers. I need to take more time during the days to stop and recognize God’s presence and let Him in to speak to me.
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