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Tuesday, December 22, 1998

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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?

"Mary said: 'My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior.' " —Luke 1:46-47

For the last few Christmases, I have had a custom of wishing people a " 'Mary' Christmas." Almost everyone has welcomed this greeting. The favorable reception occurs because either people recognize Mary's special part in God's plan, or because they don't realize how convicting a prophetess Mary is.

Mary called herself a humble handmaid or a slave (Lk 1:38). Yet she is a slave who magnifies the Lord, not only because of His mercy "on those who fear Him" (Lk 1:50), but also because of His might confusing the proud, deposing "the mighty from their thrones," and raising "the lowly to high places" (Lk 1:51-52).

Mary is a revolutionary for her Son, Jesus. Like Him, she is a sign of contradiction for the rise and fall of many (Lk 2:34). In Jesus, Mary plans a revolution to turn this world right side up (see Acts 17:6 in the Greek).

Because Mary is at the feet of her Son, she is in our face, insisting that we do whatever Jesus tells us (Jn 2:5). Mary knows how to discipline Jesus' disciples. After all, she is pictured as standing on a snake. "Mary" Christmas!

Prayer:  Father, give me a "Mary" Christmas of repentance, evangelization, sacrifice, and holiness.

Promise:  "Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; 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."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998