Fourth Week of Advent
Gospel: Lk 1: 46-56
Mary said: “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 for ever.” Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.
SONG OF PROTEST: Singing of protest-songs on the street is a form of non-violent revolution. The Magnificat is a powerful protest song. Mary, while singing this, would have recalled the liberation of her ancestors from the pharaohs. The song says that the mighty arm of God has brought three fold liberations against the oppressors. The governments have been afraid of the revolutionary potential of the Magnificat. Some governments as in Argentina, British rulers to the Indians and Guatemala, banned the public recitation of the magnificat. A theologian called Dietrich Bonheoffer, preached, “The song of Mary is the most revolutionary Advent hymn ever sung. It is a hard, strong, inexorable song about the power of God and the powerlessness of humankind”. Most of us might face oppressive socio-political and economic situations. Are we ready to protest? Can we think of a protest song?
PRAYER: God of our ancestors, deliver us and give us courage to join movements of social transformation.
MAGNIFICAT: We are on the triduum to Christmas. The gospel text invites us to sing with Mary. This song of liberation proclaims three levels of revolution. Each of the revolution is also an invitation to us to put on a virtue: (1) He has scattered the proud of heart – it is a social revolution; there is a call to be humble before our God; (2) He has cast down the mighty – it is a political revolution; those who are lowly are raised up; there is a call to be disponible/totally available before God; (3) He has sent the rich away empty – this is an economic revolution; the hungry are filled; there is an invitation to be simple, a position that makes us vulnerable before God. As we move towards Christmas we pray for these virtues: humility, disponibility, and simplicity. Let our own celebration of Christmas be a celebration of these revolutions.