Dec. 22: CHRISTMAS NOVENA DAY 6. GOSPEL, COMMENTARY AND ADVENT READING ON THE MAGNIFICAT.
Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the corresponding Antiphon, Opening prayer and Gospel reading of the Mass and the daily 2nd reading of the Divine Office for meditation.
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Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.
- Antiphon: Psalm 24: 7
- Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:39–45: The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
- Divine office Reading: The Magnificat (St. Bede)
O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the King of Glory!
2. Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:39–45: The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
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.
The Commentary to the Gospel of St. Luke of the Navarre Bible explains:
- 46-55 Mary’s Magnificat canticle is a poem of singular beauty. It evokes certain passages of the Old Testament with which she would have been very familiar (especially 1 Sam 2:1-10). Three stanzas may be distinguished in the canticle:
- in the first (vv. 46-50) Mary glorifies God for making her the Mother of the Saviour, which is why future generations will call her blessed; she shows that the Incarnation is a mysterious expression of God’s power and holiness and mercy.
- In the second (v. 5 1-53) she teaches us that the Lord has always had a preference for the humble, resisting the proud and boastful.
- In the third (vv. 54-5 5) she proclaims that God, in keeping with his promise, has always taken special care of his chosen people — and now does them the greatest honour of all by becoming a Jew (cf. Rom 1:3).
- “Our prayer can accompany and imitate this prayer of Mary. Like her, we feel the desire to sing, to acclaim the wonders of God, so that all mankind and all creation may share our joy” (St. Josemaria, Christ is passing by, 144).
SEE AS WELL: POPE FRANCIS ON THE MAGNIFICAT HERE.
A commentary on Luke by the Venerable Bede
And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.
The Lord has exalted me by a gift so great, so unheard of, that language is useless to describe it; and the depths of love in my heart can scarcely grasp it. I offer then all the powers of my soul in praise and thanksgiving. As I contemplate his greatness, which knows no limits, I joyfully surrender my whole life, my senses, my judgement, for my spirit rejoices in the eternal Godhead of that Jesus, that Saviour, whom I have conceived in this world of time.
The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
Mary looks back to the beginning of her song, where she said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Only that soul for whom the Lord in his love does great things can proclaim his greatness with fitting praise and encourage those who share her desire and purpose, saying: Join with me in proclaiming the greatness of the Lord; let us extol his name together.
Those who know the Lord, yet refuse to proclaim his greatness and sanctify his name to the limit of their power, will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven. His name is called holy because in the sublimity of his unique power he surpasses every creature and is far removed from all that he has made.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy.
In a beautiful phrase Mary calls Israel the servant of the Lord. The Lord came to his aid to save him. Israel is an obedient and humble servant, in the words of Hosea: Israel was a servant, and I loved him.
Those who refuse to be humble cannot be saved. They cannot say with the prophet: See, God comes to my aid; the Lord is the helper of my soul. But anyone who makes himself humble like a little child is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
The promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.
This does not refer to the physical descendants of Abraham, but to his spiritual children. These are his descendants, sprung not from the flesh only, but who, whether circumcised or not, have followed him in faith. Circumcised as he was, Abraham believed, and this was credited to him as an act of righteousness.
The coming of the Saviour was promised to Abraham and to his descendants for ever. These are the children of promise, to whom it is said: If you belong to Christ, then you are descendants of Abraham, heirs in accordance with the promise.
But it is right that before the birth of the Lord or of John, their mothers should utter prophecies; for just as sin began with a woman, so too does redemption. Through the deceit of one woman, grace perished; the prophecies of two women announce its return to life.
℟. All generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.* Holy is his name.
℣. His mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.* Holy is his name.
O God, who, seeing the human race fallen into death, willed to redeem it by the corning of your Only Begotten Son, grant, we pray, that those who confess his Incarnation with humble fervor may merit his company as their Redeemer. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE: De_Champaigne,_Philippe,_The_Visitation,_1643-48 in https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/De_Champaigne,_Philippe,_The_Visitation,_1643-48.jpg
5. VIDEO COMMENTARY: HOW DO YOU MAGNIFY THE LORD?
In today’s gospel (Luke 1:46-56), Mary praises God through her hymn – the Magnificat – “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” The first reading (1 Samuel 1:24-28), speaks of Hannah magnifying the Lord by dedicating her only son, Samuel, to the service of God as a sign of gratitude for this favor from God. Mary’s son would eventually offer His life in service to the world.