- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

December 20, 2018

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

Ps 24; Luke 1: 26 – 38)

In the course of a lifetime the praying of the Hail Mary exceeds any type of count. We know that the number of Hail Marys is really not of importance but what is of importance is how that prayer influences our faith life. We are so familiar with the words that we can pray with little or no attention to the mystery it proclaims – to truly pray it or any prayer calls for attention, reflection which is the reverence of a listening heart.

Let us take one brief phrase: “The Lord is with you.” In those words of the Angel Gabriel Mary is reminded of the Presence of God to her and in her. Of course, for her, this Divine Presence is unique because she, by her “Let it be done according to Your Word”, will conceive and bear the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

But there is something in that greeting “The Lord is with you” that speaks to us of our own lives. The Lord, the Divine Presence, is not only with us – you, me – but in us. We bear the splendor, the majesty, the eternity of God in our very persons – a kind of living tabernacle. This Presence sustains us, guides us, nourishes us with a faithfulness, a resolve, a compassion and mercy that exceeds our comprehension but not our belief.

Today the great O Antiphon that we will chant before the Magnificat is “O Key of David’s House…who open and none can avail to close…O Come, come to free us…” Surely, we can pray this with a desire that the Living Key of David’s House, the Lord Jesus, open our hearts more and more to the mystery, the reality of the Divine Presence you/I bear.

“O Come, come…the prayer is a passionate plea coming from our Lord whose passion for us, Mary our Mother knew and desires it for us, her sons and daughters. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners” – might not her prayer be that we know and live consciously in our God’s Presence.