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Monday, December 22, 2008

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

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mother of the word incarnate

"...even as He promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever." —Luke 1:55

Mary's response to Elizabeth in the words of the Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55) shows her to be a woman completely grounded in God's word. Mary's lifelong relationship with the word of God reached its fulfillment when she became pregnant with Jesus, "the Word" (Jn 1:1). The mother of the Word Incarnate was so filled with the Word that Scripture flowed from her lips effortlessly.

Nearly every line of her Magnificat echoes an Old Testament passage. Mary was undoubtedly familiar with Hannah's canticle in today's responsorial Psalm (1 Sm 2:1-10), but echoes of the Psalms and other Old Testament verses also resound throughout her Magnificat. The New American Bible footnotes list twelve Old Testament Scriptures as cross-references for the Magnificat, while the Jerusalem Bible references twenty-three such passages.

"Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133). God sent His only Son into the world on the first Christmas so that we might believe in Him and receive eternal life (Jn 3:16). If you conclude Christmas 2008 without coming to know Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God, then you've missed the whole purpose of Christmas. Therefore, follow Mary's lead. Immerse yourself in the Scriptures. Prepare to meet Jesus, the Word of God, this Christmas.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, Author of the Scriptures, grant me from this moment forth an unquenchable desire to read the Bible.

Promise:  "The Lord granted my request." —1 Sm 1:27

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."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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