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Saturday, December 22, 2007

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1 Samuel 1:24-28
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Luke 1:46-56

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"mary" christmas

"Then Mary said: 'My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord.' " —Luke 1:46

Today, in preparation for Christ's coming this Christmas, the Church introduces us to two women praising the Lord. Hannah was barren and periodically depressed for several years. However, she finally exalted in the Lord because she had given birth to a son, Samuel (1 Sm 2:1). Some of us are like Hannah. We have had a good year, or even a good life. We have many reasons to rejoice and praise the Lord.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also proclaiming the greatness of the Lord and rejoicing in God her Savior (Lk 1:46-47). She conceived Jesus, God Himself, in her womb. Unlike Hannah, she faced major problems. She could have been executed as an adulteress. She had reason to expect Joseph to divorce her, and her family and friends to reject her. Who would believe that she had conceived by the power of the Spirit? Nevertheless, Mary praised the Lord. By faith, she proclaimed that her problems, and even those of the world, were already taken care of, although by sight it looked like she was in an impossible situation (see 2 Cor 5:7).

We should praise the Lord always. We can praise Him like Hannah, but it's even better to praise Him like Mary. "Mary" Christmas!

Prayer:  Father, may we all, especially those who are despondent, praise You with enthusiasm this day and this Christmas season.

Promise:  "As long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord." —1 Sm 1:28

Praise:  "O King of all the nations, the only Joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature You fashioned from the dust."

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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