Dec. 22, 2020

Tuesday of the 4th Week of Advent

1st Reading 1 SM 1:24-28

Psalm 1 SAMUEL 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8ABCD

Gospel LK 1:46-56

O Antiphon

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love… – Zeph. 16-17

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior. – Luke 1:46-47

Rejoice! The word echoes through the readings today.

Hannah prayed – desperately prayed – for a son, and when her prayer was granted, dedicated little Samuel to the Lord. In the 1st reading, she fulfills her vows to the Lord, bringing Samuel to begin his training with Eli at the Temple.

After Hannah presents Samuel to the priest, Eli, her heart is moved with praise to God. Her prayer is our psalm for the day. It is very familiar to our ears, for it foreshadows Mary’s Magnificat, many years later.

“My heart exults in the Lord,

my horn is exalted by my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in your victory.
There is no Holy One like the Lord;
there is no Rock like our God. – 1 Sam. 2: 1-2

Mary would have been very familiar with this story and these words. Perhaps she pondered them after the Angel Gabriel made his startling announcement. For, like Hannah, Mary knew the child she bore belonged to God, more so than any other child ever had. She was tasked with bearing him and raising him, but the life she felt stir within her was already dedicated to service of the Lord. Hannah’s words, the words of a woman blessed by God to bear a son who was destined to spiritually lead his people, would have moved Mary’s heart and soul.

And so in the Gospel, we again today hear Mary’s Magnificat, that beautiful prayer of praise for the mighty, inscrutable, works of God. Mary’s prayer is Hannah’s, perfected.

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. – Luke 1:46-48

Ponder: How has God worked in your life in unexpected ways? Sometimes we forget, in our day-to-day existence, of the signs and wonders God has done in our own lives. Remember, and offer praise today! And pray along with Mary this beautiful Magnificat.

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