Posted by: livingscripture | December 22, 2009

Fourth Tuesday of Advent

From the Word of the Day

 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.

                      Luke 1: 46-48

How should we live this Word

 Among the jewels of Christian literature there is the Magnificat that Luke places on the Virgin Mother Mary’s lips immediately after their greeting when Elizabeth had recognized her as Lord’s Mother. It is worth resting our heart by praying it with Mary.  However, here we will pause on the first phrase that highlights Mary’s two attitudes as a real model of prayer.

 Above all, we need to say that it is the expression of a deep and widespread joy.  It is a joy that comes from the first attitude of wanting to praise the Lord with all the ardor of her heart.  The second attitude is Mary’s recognition that God has ‘looked upon His lowly servant’.  The word ‘lowly’ is not the same as humility.  Mary says that God has gazed upon her ‘nothingness’, as she deems herself.  She accepts her creature state as a limitation and not as a boast.  Her joy exults, bursts forth, and spreads from this.  Mary’s gaze is on God.  And when she looks at herself in the Lord, her nothingness does not dismay her.  She feels herself loved precisely in her nothingness.  Her great joy flows from this tending toward God who is contemplated and praised, and from the awareness of her extreme poverty transfigured by His infinite love.

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will await Christmas in consonance with Mary.  I will let her joy spread in me.

 Lord, You are great and powerful!  I am nothing but I am loved and saved by You.  Come, Lord Jesus, come!

 The voice of Bede, Church Father

 Mary attributes nothing to her merits but all to the greatness of the gift of the One who is powerful and great by nature and makes His faithful ones, who are small and weak, great and strong.

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