Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 3rd Week of Advent – December 22 – Luke 1:46-56
The Gospel reading from the Mass for December 22 is Luke 1:46-56.
Following Mary’s arrival in Judea and her kinswoman Elizabeth’s immortalized exaltation (“Blessed are you among women…”; the Rosary) of Our Lady and Christ Jesus in her womb, Mary full of humble joy, directs attention to the glory and praise of God. Mary’s joyous Magnificat (Latin: “magnifies”) is a divinely inspired and poetic hymn of praise to God for His blessings throughout Salvation History.
The Magnificat begins with Mary’s grateful response to the blessings that God has bestowed upon her. Mary acknowledges she is a simple and humble soul (a handmaiden) who exists to for God’s will to be done (“My soul magnifies the Lord”). Astoundingly, Mary prophetically announces that “all generations will call me blessed.” Our Lady acknowledges the “great things” God has done for her; Mary has been blessed to be the Immaculate Conception (born without sin) and has been chosen by God to bear His Only Son.
Mary glorifies God and His intervention in the lives of men across time. Mary exalts God’s mercy (“for those who fear Him”), His powerful intervention in the lives of men (strength of His arm), His comfort for the persecuted poor (“exalted those of low degree”; “filled the hungry”),His justice against evil doers (“put down the mighty”; “rich…sent away empty”) and His protection, salvation and closeness to Israel (“helped His servant Israel..for ever”).
Awed by Jesus Christ – Person of the Trinity and Son of Mary, Christ fills His mother with joy and inspires Mary to give Him glory. Divine Prophet, Christ reveals to His mother the truth that “all generations will call [Mary] blessed.”
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Despite being the Son of God, Jesus, in His human nature, “grew in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52) under the watchful guidance of Mary and Joseph. Marvel at the powerful and enduring Magnificat of Mary, realizing it is one beautiful example of the kinds of holiness Jesus heard from His mother (CCC 2599).
2) Mary is not typically thought of as a prophet even though her words often prophetically speak of the future. During Advent, be awed that Mary’s prophecy in today’s Gospel reveals that “all generations will call me blessed”; Mary’s prophecy continues to be proven true even today every time one of the billion+ Catholics around the world say a “Hail Mary.”
3) Each man enjoys immeasurable daily blessings, including the priceless gift of life and a multitude of small blessings (health, freedom, food, shelter, protection, family, friends, work, etc.). During Advent, reflect upon the Magnificat (CCC 273, 722, 971, 2097, 2617-2619, 2622, 2675) be inspired by Mary to give Christ thanks for your many blessings; join the Church in the praying of the Magnificat.