21st December 2020

Monday, Fourth Week of Advent;

Song 2:8-14 / Zeph 3:14-18;  Ps 33:2-3,11-12,20-21;   Lk 1:39-45


Despite having just received from the Lord a blessing greater than any human person has ever received – to be the mother of God, Mary is alert to the message of the angel about her cousin in the hill country of Judah who was in need of her help, and immediately leaves for the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Blessings, however great, should never be an occasion for pride to find its way into our hearts. Mary was a humble servant before the annunciation, and chose to remain as one after as well. Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth, becomes an occasion for the latter to have a God experience, and, being inspired by the Spirit, she acknowledges and extols Mary’s blessedness. When a blessing is received with an attitude of humble reverence and gratitude, it becomes a blessing shared!

Elizabeth proclaims Mary blessed for her faith: “Blessed is she who believed”. Mary is blessed because she believed before understanding, treasured before pondering. Her believing was not based on story of the past, on the words of others, on an idea or a sentiment. She believed in a God who was as real as any other, and who loved her more than any other. And therefore, her response to the angel when she announced the holy message, was not because she understood what was said, or because of any assurance that was given; it was because she loved God more than any other. It is for this faith built on love that Mary is proclaimed blessed.

Christmas reminds us of one of the greatest blessings of God to humanity – Himself! In that tiny child born in a manger, God came to us. Do our hearts beat with the same love as Mary’s did, in recognition of God’s blessings? Do our celebrations manifest our faith in his immense love for us? Do our lives proclaim: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word.”

Responsorial Psalm: Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; O sing him a song that is new

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