Advent 4, 23 December 2018

Vicar’s Reflection: Advent 4, 23rd December 2018

Have you ever heard half a conversation? Such as someone talking on the telephone at the next table in a café. From one voice you can get a general idea of what the conversation is about but not a complete understanding. The Gospel reading today is called Mary’s Song or the Magnificat. The song is composed according to the rules of Hebrew poetry with parallel lines like a conversation. What is expressed in the first line is either repeated or contrasted in the next line. It also is a song about opposites or reversals such as rulers being brought down and the lowly lifted up. Reading between the lines of Mary’s Song we get a good idea of what life was like for Mary and her contemporaries in her world. So, we can see that she was a humble person a servant, from a people who are forgotten and side-lined by the world. The heritage and promise of their great history neglected and suppressed. Proud, arrogant people have gathered and conspired against her people. Their rule has mercilessly crushed the poor leaving them hungry and powerless. Into this despairing situation new hope has sprung in the form of two babies to be born. Despite the hopelessness of their situation Mary and her cousin Elizabeth are filled with expectant joy. God has joined the conversation! And as the writer of Hebrew says: “In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” (Heb1:2)

Alex Czerwonka

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