December 22, 2012
Luke 1: 46-56
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Cast Down and Lifted Up
Today’s “O Antiphon” addresses Christ as the “King of all nations” and the “cornerstone of the Church.” Here we see an exalted image of Jesus’ identity, which was revealed in the resurrection. But let us also remember that “the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.” Jesus’ exaltation did not take place before his humiliation.
The Father, before exalting Jesus, led him in obedience to the depths of the cross. In this, the Father fulfilled a pattern seen throughout salvation history, a pattern which Mary lauds in today’s Magnificat.
God has cast down the mighty, but lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things. He has remembered Israel, the smallest of nations, out of His eternal faithfulness. Therefore, let us also persevere in faith, regardless of the difficulties we are experiencing. It is precisely faithfulness in the face of difficulty that wins God’s favor and brings about salvation.
—Fr. Kevin Dyer, S.J.
Lord, your Mother proclaims the hope of all: “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” Mary experienced the greatest of joy and the most agonizing suffering. She watched many pay homage to you, looked on as you bled from the cross, and stared into your resurrected eyes. Lord, we will be people of hope; people who trust that darkness will be defeated and goodness will have the final word.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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