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. (Luke 1:49-50)
Today’s readings celebrate the fulfillment of deep hopes. Hannah rejoices in the birth of her son Samuel in answer to supplications offered over years. God’s gracious act removes the scourge of her barrenness. Samuel will be a key figure in the history of God’s people— a priest, the last of Israel’s Judges, the first prophet since Moses, and the chosen vessel through whom God will anoint Saul and David as kings.
Mary’s situation is markedly different. Youthful, she is betrothed to Joseph, a simple carpenter. God’s messenger, Gabriel, reveals to Mary that she is to bear the long-awaited Messiah. She is blessed among women.
One of the striking features of the hymns of praise of these women—the responsorial psalm and the gospel—is their profound sense of being part of a people. They glorify God whose miraculous deeds in their lives reflect his fidelity and love for the people of the covenant and a redemptive plan embracing all nations. Their words are not so much about themselves but about God’s utter gratuity. So close to Christmas, how privileged we are to be invited to echo the hymns of these godly women pondering the wonders of the Creator!
Is my prayer too small at times, focused only on my wants and desires? Saint Peter Julian Eymard said of Mary: “The glory of the great King’s daughter is interior. . . . Everything is to God alone and known only by God” (Preaching to the Religious, 90, 1)
Let us pray:
King of the nations and keystone of the Church, come and save all whom you formed from the dust. (Alleluia verse)
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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