Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:46-56
In the Gospel today, our guide and mother in the Christian life gives us a model for our response to the wondrous event of the Incarnation when the Word comes to dwell among us in Jesus. Mary praises God not because the Almighty is powerful in a general, distant way but because God has looked at her, a poor young woman who has nothing to give but her love. Her praise is for God’s mercy, which lifts up the lowly and fills the hungry. She remembers the promise God had made to the Israelites (a promise made for us as well), and praises God for bringing that promise to fruition. This is the model Christians are called to emulate: We are called to recognize God’s caring gaze upon us, to praise God’s mercy which lifts us in our humility and feeds our deep spiritual hunger, and to remember God’s fidelity.
As the end of Advent approaches, we might want to ask ourselves: what response are we preparing to make to God’s presence among us? In the busy chaos of the week before Christmas, we might spend so much time looking for that perfect gift that we might not perceive that God’s loving gaze is upon us. Amid the Christmas tunes blaring from the radio stations, we might fail to hear God’s voice calling us out of our small and narrow perspectives to look to service among the lowly and hungry around us. We may forget that Christmas is more than simply “December 25” that rolls around every year but is the answer to the promise that God will never abandon humanity.
Mary’s response to the fulfillment of this promise was for her soul to proclaim the greatness of the Lord and her spirit to rejoice in God. Today, we are challenged to reflect on our own response. What do our souls proclaim? In what do our spirits rejoice?
Copyright Amy McLean
Amy McLean is currently pursuing her Masters of Theological Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She hopes to continue her studies on the doctoral level next year. Prior to graduate studies, she served as the middle and high school youth minister at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in Raleigh, N.C.