Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
This Week’s Intention: For a joyous and redeeming Christmastime for our world, one filled with peace on earth and good will toward all.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 1: 46-56
“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 forever.”
Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.
A Reflection for the Fourth Monday of Advent
Author Anne Lamott once suggested that there are three essential prayers that best articulate what it is that we most often have to say to God: “Help”, “Thanks”, and “Wow”. The Scriptures certainly are filled with such prayers. In the Nativity story, Mary pays a surprise visit to her cousin, Elizabeth, who asks Mary, in effect, “What brings you here?” Mary answers with a “Wow”. Her words, today called Mary’s Canticle, rejoice in the experience of being chosen by God, of what it means to be known and loved by the Eternal. Known and loved. Not rejected, as we sometimes assume, but desired. Not despised, as we sometimes fear, but cherished. It is a wondrous thing to realize that God wants to be with us and to reveal to us who we really are. This is the meaning of the Nativity. God has chosen to be with us and made his way into our world. God wants us close. We celebrate each Christmas this unimaginable affirmation of our personhood, of who we are capable of being and what we are capable of creating. In the words of Ruth Cullen, “The earth is building itself for God. Mankind is in process toward a promise.” God has spoken, and his word to us is “Yes.” The time of Advent is a time for rejoicing.
Prayer for the Day
Eternal Father, send to us your grace this day so that we can prepare for your coming. Touch our hearts with longing so that we can better love and serve you and each other. Fill us with the hope that we can be transformed by your Spirit and so help transform the world. Just as Mary said yes to your plan for our salvation, may we say yes to your call to be channels of your peace, caring especially for those that you have entrusted to our care. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.