Homily for Wednesday of the 4th Week of Advent (1)


Homily for Wednesday of the 4th Week of Advent
Theme: Blessed among women
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Wednesday December 21 2021
Simbang Gabi – Day 07
December 22, 2021
Lk 1:46-56
Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
After Elizabeth praised her for being ‘blessed among women’ and for having believed that the Lord’s words would be fulfilled, Mary responds with a song of praise, the Magnificat. This is the Gospel on this seventh day of the Simbang Gabi.
All biblical scholars are one in saying that the Magnificat has four parts, namely, gratitude to God; praise of God for His power, holiness and mercy; how God deals with the proud and the humble; and praise of God’s faithfulness to His promises.
The Blessed Mother begins by expressing her boundless gratitude to God: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!” The first word of this song in Latin is, ‘magnificat’ (‘magnifies’): “My soul magnifies the Lord.” She is saying that her soul adores, praises, and honors the Lord, for He, indeed, is infinitely great. How often do we praise and thank God in our prayers? Praise and adoration of God are the most important form of prayer. We pray and celebrate the Eucharist, first and foremost, to adore and praise God. This grateful acknowledgement always leads to joy: “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Secondly, Mary extols God for He is Power, He is Holiness and He is Mercy. He is Power because He can do whatever He wills. This should give us secure confidence and peace. The important thing is to always remain with Him, hold on to Him, and never lose sight of Him.
God is Holiness because He maintains an infinite distance from everything that is imperfection, and adheres to infinite good (cf Bl. C. Marmion, ‘Christ, The Life of the Soul’, p. 14). In fact, it is not His beauty, mercy, justice or greatness that the heavenly spirits that surround His throne sing about unceasingly, but His holiness: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts; heaven and earth are full of your glory” (Is 6:3; Rev 4:8). This should inspire us to strive always for the attainment, not of the worldly and ephemeral, but for the heavenly and eternal realities.
God is Mercy, for His love for sinners is boundless and His kindness towards the weak and fallen is undying. Let us remember that though we have sinned deeply and often, God still loves us. His love is greater than all our sins.
Thirdly, Mary compares the humble and the proud: God “dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart”; “has thrown down the rulers from their thrones”; the rich he has sent away empty.” On the other hand, God has “lifted up the lowly”; “the hungry he has filled with good things.” Definitely, this is a highly dangerous revolutionary statement with strong political overtones.
Yet, in fact, it is Jesus speaking through His Mother’s lips. This is precisely the theme of His Gospels. God exalts the humble; He humbles the proud.
And lastly, Mary sings of the faithfulness of God. She attests that God keeps His promises even in the face of His people’s stubborn and repeated infidelities. God does not fail us even when we fail Him. This should give us encouragement and assurance for God will not abandon us. Our God is a faithful God.
May we also sing Mary’s song to God, now and for always!
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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