READINGS for 2008-12-22

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“God took one look at me, and look what happened — I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!” – Luke 1:48 (The Message)
Being single for all 20 years of my life, I’ve always wondered how it feels to look and be looked at by the person you love romantically. You know, the “loving look” that lovers give each other that novels talk about? I wonder about that. How do you give that loving look? What’s your facial expression? How does it feel to be on the receiving end of that romantic gaze?
And with all that, I wonder, when am I going to receive that look of love? And when do I get to give it in return? And then I think… why wait? God always looks at me, and I know that He looks at me just as a groom would look at his bride as she makes her way to the altar on their wedding day.
As Christmas nears, receive that look of love that God gives you every day. And don’t miss out on giving it back to Him. Tina Matanguihan
God looks at you with love all the time. Why ask for anything more?
Lord, may You never take Your loving eyes off me.


Here we have the birth of another great hero in the history of the Jewish people. Samuel, one of the greatest of the prophets is miraculously born to Hannah and then immediately offered back to God in thanksgiving. It may seem a very primitive response to the gift of a child, but I see it as something incredibly beautiful and expressive of Hannah’s depth of faith.
1 Samuel 1:24-28
24 In those days, Hannah brought Samuel with her, along with a threeyear- 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.
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd
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 ash heap he lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage.” (R)
Mary’s song of praise and thanksgiving is not her own. It is modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel. Yes, there are certain differences but the structure and content is so similar that there is little doubt as to the dependence of the Magnificat on Hannah’s earlier prayer. This in no way lessens the significance of what Mary says. In fact, I believe it enhances and strengthens the sentiments as it roots them in an ancient tradition of faith in God.
Luke 1:46-56
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.
my reflections
think:Mary’s song of praise and thanksgiving is rooted in an ancient tradition of faith in God.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


Good prose is a piece of art. To read good prose is a joy. But there are moments and experiences when prose is no longer able to express the feelings of the writer. Here poetry and song takes over. Song and poetry express what prose cannot say. How often is the prose of Old Testament texts interrupted by lines of poetry. When Adam saw Eve for the first time, for example, the prose text changes into Hebrew poetry: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones.”
Today’s Responsorial Psalm is taken from the song of joy of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. This leads us to the gospel of St. Luke who interrupts in his first two chapters the story with three songs, one of which we read today — Mary’s beautiful song, the Magnificat. Mary’s song introduces a fundamental theme of Jesus’ ministry and teaching: The first will be last, and the last will be first because God lifts up the lowly and humbles the proud.
In today’s world and societies, there are still two main social classes: the powerful and the humble. There are those who belong to a cosmopolitan society, who speak English and move from airport to airport, who surf the Internet and for whom the world has become a global village. They are the modern “powerful.” On the other side, there are those who seldom leave their village and who have no access to the great social means of communication. They are the modern “humble.” The world admires the powerful but Mary helps us to put things in their proper place. The most profound values are often found not among the powerful but among the “little ones” in society. Great events that have impact on history do not always happen on the big stages but in hidden places, like the birth of Jesus.
Mary’s song makes us reflect where we stand and where we place our values: on the prosaic side of the “powerful” or on the poetic side of the “humble.” May we break out in a joyful song when we realize that we belong to the “humble” whom God favors in a special way. Fr. Rudy Horst
Reflection Question:
In what area of my life do I have to “step down from my throne” in order to become more humble?
Lord, Mary’s song made me reflect today on what is important in Your eyes. You look at things in a different way. Let me not just reflect on the truth that You look with favor on the humble. Bless me and help me to practice this humility and smallness before You.
St. Zeno, martyr, pray for us.

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