Fourth Monday of Advent (Year B)
Advent Meditation by The Reverend Thomas J. Szczerba Jr.
My dad often jokes about growing up in a household full of images of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He says that there were so many pictures of them that he thought they were his aunt and uncle. It is funny to think about, but also deeply comforting to think about these two feeling like family members. My dad felt like Jesus and Mary were more like family than these far off religious figures. They felt like blood, people whom he could trust and rely on. The Church and the presence of Jesus and Mary were instrumental in my dad’s upbringing.
In today’s Gospel, we receive the gift of Mary’s Magnificat. She rejoices about being able to give birth to Jesus, the promised Messiah. She praises God for fulfilling the promise that was made to Abraham. The Gospel of Luke is the only Gospel that includes the Magnificat. It is powerful to see Mary’s faith in God in these verses. God is an active presence in her life and she rejoices in it.
The Magnificat is one of the canticles that the Book of Common Prayer gives us for Evening Prayer. During the season of Advent, I encourage us to do the daily office and include the Magnificat as the canticle every day we do it. It will serve as a reminder to us that God is an active presence in our lives. God will continue to work through us and those around us. Mary is someone who had the odds against her as a young, unmarried woman who now was to give birth and be the mother to the messiah, yet she trusted God and relied on God to be among her. Since March, it is easy to feel like the odds are stacked against us as well. The Magnificat is that useful reminder that no matter where we are in life, we have God.
Let us rejoice! God wants to be in a relationship with us, specifically in times of need.