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Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
“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.
Opening Prayer: Mary, allow me to join you on your journey to see your cousin Elizabeth so that I can also allow God to reign in my heart as he reigns in yours.
- Joining the Journey: During the long journey from Nazareth to the hill country of Judah, Mary had a lot of time to think about her new role. No doubt, the devil tried to overcome her with fear and uncertainty about the future, but God filled her with joy and peace. The devil would try to place every obstacle in Mary’s way to keep her from trusting in God; he had already tried this with Eve, and it worked. The devil wanted to bring her down into a spiral of discouragement, screaming at her out of jealousy and contempt, but Mary kept her heart set on the Lord and the words of the Magnificat are a testimony to this. The Magnificat is Mary’s immediate response to Elizabeth’s greeting. The spontaneity of this prayer gives us a quick, in-depth look at the richness of Mary’s heart and the love she has for God. May our hearts overflow with love like hers this Christmas.
- The Battle for Mary’s Heart: Mary–so young, innocent, and pure–took all that the devil threw at her and conquered him. The devil planted discouragement; Mary accepted her smallness as she proclaimed that the Almighty had “lifted up the lowly.” Pride is the greatest of all sins and Mary recognized she wasn’t the protagonist: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” As the devil planted seeds of doubt in God’s love, she remembered all the great things the Lord had done in the past, “coming to the help of his servant Israel,” and she decided to trust in the providence of God. Her faith kept her foot firmly planted on the head of the serpent. Nothing could shake her.
- Mary’s Role in Our Life: As Mary went to visit Elizabeth, she often comes to visit us. Elizabeth greeted her with words of honor and praise, and we honor her by our many prayers and supplications. Mary points us to the Lord as she did Elizabeth. She helps us to recognize our lowliness before God so that we don’t get discouraged. She discourages pride by showing us the great works of the Lord throughout history. And she reminds us constantly of what good the Lord does each day in our hearts.
Conversing with Christ: Blessed Mother, thank you for the beautiful words you spoke in The Magnificat. You have provided us with a beautifully tender look into your soul. I am grateful to God for your presence in my life and your motherly care of me and those I love.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will join today with Mary in preparing for Christ’s coming this Christmas by singing with her the prayer of the Magnificat.
For Further Reflection: Listen to the Magnificat, by John Michael Talbot.
Father Andrew Gronotte entered the minor seminary of the Legion of Christ at thirteen years old, and was ordained in December 2016. He currently serves in Atlanta as chaplain at Holy Spirit Preparatory School.