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The astonishing experience of gift


Sermon shared by W Pat Cunningham

December 2009
Summary: Mary is the opposite of Eve, totally open to the plan of God as Eve was closed in, and thus she was able to accept the Greatest Gift, Jesus Christ.
Denomination: Catholic
Audience: Believer adults
Not so. We’ll do that on March 25. Today what we celebrate is the gracefulness, openness and spirit of obedience of Mary, that was the precondition for the entry of Grace, Obedience and Redemption in the person of Her Son, Jesus Christ. Here is the woman who was from the first moment of her existence totally open to God. She understood that she was made for gift, the gift of grace, and that made it possible for her to be open to The Gift, the Son of God. God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son. This is our sole hope. Accepting the gift of God on God’s terms is the only future for humankind. Let’s then conclude with the words of our Holy Father:

Then, the
conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded
from “influences” of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic
process in a thoroughly destructive way. In the long term, these
convictions have led to economic, social and political systems that
trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to
deliver the justice that they promise. As I said in my Encyclical Letter
Spe Salvi, history is thereby deprived of Christian hope[86], deprived of
a powerful social resource at the service of integral human development,
sought in freedom and in justice. Hope encourages reason and gives it the
strength to direct the will[87]. It is already present in faith, indeed it
is called forth by faith. Charity in truth feeds on hope and, at the same
time, manifests it. As the absolutely gratuitous gift of God, hope bursts
into our lives as something not due to us, something that transcends every
law of justice. Gift by its nature goes beyond merit, its rule is that of

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