Tuesday, December 22, 2009


thou for whom they long,
the Cornerstone that makest them both one:
Come and save thy creatures
whom thou didst fashion from the dust of the earth.

MASS READINGS: 1 Samuel 1:24-28; 2:1,4-8; Luke 1:46-56

Today's Gospel is the response Mary made to Elizabeth's acknowledgment of her blessedness. Mary's words are infused with expressions found in other Biblical canticles and songs which she clearly knew off by heart. On her lips, however, the words are imbued with a far deeper meaning than they had in the Old Testament. Mary's rejoicing begins with the stark acknowledgment that she is "saved by grace" ("my spirit hath rejoiced in God MY SAVIOUR"). Incidentally this is one of the truths that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception seeks to guard.

In union with Mary and the Church down through the ages we pray her song, "the Magnificat" EVERY DAY at Evensong (or "Vespers"). The Church makes these words her own, singing exuberantly the song of Mary's rejoicing, and, incidentally, reminding ourselves that our only hope of salvation is God's grace.

With Mary - who is often said to have "foreshadowed" the Church - we bless and thank God for his loving-kindness and grace, and all the other blessing he has given us.

Mary is struck by her own lowliness before the immensity of God's power and greatness, for he has worked wonders. As we sing her song, we, too, will be humbled by that same power and greatness; most of all we will be smitten by his love.

We are approaching the end of Advent. Today Mary shows us way. Mulling over her prayer in faith, humility and love, and making it our own by faith, will help us to be ready for the coming of Jesus.


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