READINGS for 2007-12-22
WHOSE SHADOW ARE YOU?
“My soul proclaims...” – Luke 1:46
Remember Samson? He was a famous Nazirite - he was set apart for service to God and had long hair. But there is a lesser known Nazirite, he’s Samuel. Today we have two readings that are directly related and better seen in a diagram: John the Baptist Samuel Jesus (Let’s throw him in for fun)
Mother Elizabeth Hannah Mary
Mother Is? Barren Barren a Virgin
Herald to: Jesus David God the Father +Holy Spirit
Who was: King of Israel King of Israel God
Set apart? Yup Yup Yup
Prophet? Yup Yup They say
The Bible is always like this, creating a mirror between the Old and New Testaments. It’s fun to find parallels like this. In school, my literature teacher, Mrs. Batas, called this a “foreshadowing.” It’s a device used by writers to give a hint of things to come. And that’s what the canticle of Mary was all about. She predicted that people in the future will call her “Blessed Mary” and the birth of her son will bring about the blessings she said in her song. She foreshadowed the faith of Catholics and the popularity of the virgin of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes and others.
How about you, who are you foreshadowing? Jomar H.
How about you, who are you foreshadowing?
May my life reflect all Your truths, Lord.
1 Samuel 1:24-28
Every child born into the world is a gift from God. Children have a right to life and thus we should always seek to accept them and love them for who they are. There can be a danger that we might punish a child for the sins of the parents – this is never acceptable. Let us always seek to provide a good environment for children to grow and make the decisions that will allow them to become responsible members of society and disciples of Jesus Christ.
24 Once he was weaned, she brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh. 25 After the boy’s father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli 26 and said “Pardon, my lord! As you live my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD. 27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. 28 Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD.” She left him there.
P S A L M
1 Samuel 2:1.4-5, 6-7, 8
R: My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
1 “My heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted in my God. I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in my victory.” (R) 4 “The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird on strength. 5 The well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry batten on spoil. The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.” (R) 6 “The LORD puts to death and gives life; he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again. 7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich, he humbles, he also exalts.” (R) 8 “He raises the needy from the dust; from the dung heap he lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage.” (R)
G O S P E L
Mary proclaims the greatness of God. She knows that the child within her womb is not the result of something she has done or earned. She rejoices in the fact that God has chosen her, knowing that she is but a weak human being. We should seek to follow Mary’s example and never hold any glory for ourselves but recognize that the glory that comes to us is merely a result of the grace of God at work in our lives.
46 Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; 47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior. 48 For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. 49 The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. 51 He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. 52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. 53 The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, 55 according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” 56 Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
think: We should never hold any glory for ourselves but recognize that the glory that comes to us is merely a result of the grace of God at work in our lives.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR James 1-5
FOCUS ON GOD
When two persons who are greatly blest meet, what usually happens? They engage in a very lively exchange. This is what happens today in the Gospel. Elizabeth, even in her old age and barrenness, conceived. Mary, despite her young age and virginity, conceived as well. Both women were not only greatly blest; they were blest even beyond imagining. Today, the Gospel focuses on the meeting of these two unimaginable blest women and their exchange was so lively that Elizabeth’s child even jumped in the womb while Mary rejoices unto her soul.
Mary’s canticle, the “Magnificat”, highlights their rendezvous. The “Magnificat”, in turn, highlights what God has done. The canticle focuses on God’s action on behalf of His People, Israel. God’s action underscores His fidelity to His promise of mercy to Abraham and his children forever. How greatly blest we can really be if in every meeting we have with anyone highlights God’s works in our life! Instead of talking about other people’s lives, speak about God’s action in our life. Discern with everyone we meet how God moves in our life. Focus on God’s faithfulness to us rather than on the infidelity of others.
Christmas can be a whole year round celebration if we proclaim everyday with everyone how God comes and enters into our life. Christmas should not be reduced to a mere annual commemoration of the Lord’s birth. It must be a daily experience when we focus not on our selves nor on others but on God. Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Christmas is primarily God’s gift to us, not our gift to God.
Thank You, Jesus, for choosing to come to us and becoming part of our race. Help us to bring You to anyone we meet each day in our life. May our life always be a song of praise and thanksgiving to Your fidelity to us. May we ourselves be the proof of Your faithful love. Amen.
St. Zeno, martyr, pray for us.
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