Faith Daily | 22 December 2020
PRAYER of the Week| ADVENT FOUR (APBA p.471):
raise up your power and come among us,
and with great might succour us,
that, whereas through our sins and wickedness
we are sore let and hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be honour and glory, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 1: 46-56
46And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” 56And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Debbie Pringle
In the preceding verses of this chapter, Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel, told that she will conceive and give birth to God’s son, and that her elderly relative Elizabeth is miraculously 6 months pregnant. Mary accepts what she has been told and makes haste to visit Elizabeth, someone who would believe her and be able to relate to her situation.
The journey to Zachariah and Elizabeth’s home was about 100 miles. It would have taken 4 or 5 days. I hope Mary travelled as part of a caravan; the roads would have been dangerous. She would have trusted God to protect her. She must have been very tired when she arrived. John, in Elizabeth’s womb, leapt as Mary entered the house and Elizabeth, full of the Holy Spirit, exclaimed that Mary and her baby are blessed. It is then that Mary became full of praise to God and said the well known verses in today’s reading:The Magnificat (from the first word of the song in Latin, meaning to magnify).
The words in Mary’s song echo Old Testament scriptures, especially Hannah’s song after Samual’s birth (1 Samual 2 1-10). Her praise is initially personal, then she praises God for what He has done ( and will do) for His people and finally for keeping His promise to Abraham.
The Magnificat is sung in churches all over the world, especially during Advent. The words have inspired many musicians, including Bach and Mozart. I like Keith and Kristyn Getty’s recording and am including a link to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V93lwaoLK-0
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about 3 months. How lovely it must have been for Elizabeth to have someone to talk to! After all, communicating with Zachariah would have been difficult!
FINAL PRAYER: The Promise of His Glory, All Saints to Candlemas, London
who by your grace called the blessed Virgin Mary
and opened for all the door
of infinite mercy and eternal light:
Fill us with your grace
that through our obedience and faith,
the world may rejoice in your mercy
and walk in your light
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.