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

December 22, 2018

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

Saturday of the 3rd Week of Advent
1 Samuel 1:24-28; Luke 1:46-56

The “O Antiphons” are constructed to accentuate the spiritual longing that is the basis of Advent. “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.” Hannah devastated by the fact that she had no children. With outstretched empty arms she cast herself into the loving embrace of God, the only joy of the human heart. Seeing her pain, God fashioned a son in her barren womb. God looked upon her in her emptiness and blessed her with a son. Today’s first reading recounted how she brought the fruits of her shared love with Elkanah to the Giver of all good gifts. Hannah presented her beloved son to the Lord with a grateful acknowledgment of His greatness. It is important to remember that anything we give to God, we first received from Him.

Mary’s spirit rejoiced because she knew that she had been overshadowed by the Spirit that gives joy to the human heart. When she received the message of the angel, she freely and willingly became the mother of the King of all the nations. In her hymn of praise, Mary acknowledged the special gifts of grace she had received from God. She also declared the favors God, faithful to his promise, had bestowed upon the human race. Through her willingness to participate in God’s salvific plan, she showed that God is in fact the Keystone of the mighty arch of man. She of all women was chosen to be the Mother of God’s Only-begotten Son. She is the faithful Daughter of Israel, who burned with love for the long awaited savior who took flesh in her virginal womb. She attributed nothing to her own merits, but acknowledged all her greatness to the gift of the Holy One whose nature is faithful love.

With Mary, we gather to proclaim the greatness of the King of all the nations. Because of the Son of Mary, the work of grace has begun in our souls. Because Mary believed the word of the angel, we acknowledge Christ as the Keystone of the mighty arch of man who holds all things together. The Word Made Flesh is the foundation of our faith and the anchor of our hope. The Creator of the Universe, who formed us out of dust has entered into human time to satisfy the desires of the poor in spirit. Together with the New Eve, we raise our voices in praise of God who brings us to fullness of life in Christ. Like Mary, we are commissioned to bring the Son of Righteousness to all we meet. As the season of Advent draws to a close, let us be consoled by God who comes to us as a child needing to held and loved. In that loving embrace, God holds and loves us. In that loving embrace we become partakers of the divinity of Him who took to Himself our humanity. Through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, we make the Peace of Christ present to a world in need of healing and reconciliation.