Fourth Tuesday of Advent

Reading: Luke 1:46b-55

Reflection:  Today’s reading is Mary’s famous song, known as the Magnificat. It is a strange passage in

many ways. In Luke’s narrative, it is as Mary arrives at the home of her relatives, and Elizabeth remarks at how the unborn John leapt in her womb at the presence of Mary, that Mary responds with this amazing prayer. The words are strange ones to be coming from an ordinary girl – they are filled with prophetic images of God’s justice and mercy to God’s people. In a country oppressed by a foreign empire, they were subversive words, but they pointed to the truth of what Christ’s coming was all about – bringing the just and loving reality of God’s reign into the world.

Read the passage again. What stands out for you? What surprises or disturbs you? What does this song tell you about Mary, and about the way she was viewed in the new Christ- following community out of which Luke’s narrative was written?

Now think about what this means for you. The moment when we celebrate Christ’s birth is just days away now, and this passage gives us a glimpse into who this Jesus is and what he came to do. Justice, grace and love were at the heart of Jesus’ message and ministry from the very beginning, and as followers of Christ we are called to embrace these values too. How can you live them out today in your own life and spheres of influence?

Prayer: O God, The way your Reign is described in the Scriptures – in prayers like Mary’s – is beautiful. In

what Jesus came to teach and do, I see what the world could be, and I long for it to be like that. But, I know that it starts with me – with my .yes’ to your Reign in my life. And when I give you my .yes’, I know that, like Mary, my ordinary life becomes an extraordinary contribution to the mission of your Reign in the world. Amen.

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