December 22nd, 2021

The Gospel According to Luke 1:46-56

Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.” Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

Reflection: As we approach Christmas, today’s Gospel from St. Luke gives us the perfect gift in the perfect Advent prayer; A prayer from Mary, the Mother of God, in her Magnificat. And as we contemplate this prayer of Mary, we are invited to reflect on and to imitate Mary’s faith, expressed in the joy of her hymn of praise to God. In his homily on this Gospel passage Pope Francis notes,” One of the great gifts that Mary received was the gift of faith, and trusting our lives to God, in faith, a priceless gift. A gift we need to receive over and over again.” 

Elizabeth blesses Mary for her faith and Mary responds and sings the Almighty has done great things for me. Pope Francis also notes that Mary’s prayer is the song of a faith filled woman who is aware of her limitations yet deeply confident in God’s gracious love and mercy. Mary gives thanks to God for looking upon her loneliness, and for God’s saving love, offered to all people. The poor, and the humble of faith are at the heart of Mary’s entire life. Through her prayer we can see with eyes of faith as the mercy of God transforms history and our lives, too! 

In my faith journey, even before my discernment for the Diaconate, I found this beautiful woman of God, helping me and guiding me through her answer to God’s calling with her simple ‘Yes”. 

Mary gives me a model of prayer, rooted in the past but open to the future. The prayer invites me to give time to recognize and ponder on the gifts I have received, so that I too can thank God for them.

Action of the Day: Join me, in making Mary’s prayer, our own prayer. Take a few moments each day to read the words of Mary’s Magnificat slowly and prayerfully allowing the spirit of her prayer to guide us perfectly on the path to the birth of her Divine Son Jesus. 

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