Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mary's role in fulfillment: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, December 22nd, 2014

(Listen to this homily here).

            We continue to see the theme of fulfillment at work in our readings.  While the primary Person we speak of in such ways is Jesus, note how our Blessed Mother is an active player in God’s redemptive plan.
            Hannah prefigured Mary’s role in salvation history.  Both Hannah and Mary bore a child in a miraculous way and then presented him to the Lord.  Both sang a hymn of thanksgiving.  In the Psalm we heard Hannah’s poetic prayer.  In the Gospel we heard the Canticle of Mary, a prayer that is offered by everyone who prays Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours every day.
            These two prayers have several sentiments in common.  The first is gratitude to God, from Whom all good things come: Hannah exclaims: “My heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted in my God.”  Mary similarly prays, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
            The second is a complete reversal of what it means to be rich.  Both women pray that those who are rich in earthly matters will be cast out, while the poor and hungry are to be nourished.  Jesus proved these words to be true.  He was not rich according to earthly standards (even though many thought he would be).  He was born in a manger, poor and concerned only of spiritual richness.
            We continue to ask God to help us enter the great paradox of Christmas—God becomes man, the master becomes the slave and spiritual richness replaces the earthly.

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