One Minute Reflection – 22 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations, Readings: Samuel 1:24-28; First Samuel 2: 1, 4-8; Luke 1:46-56
The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.
O KING OF ALL NATIONS
and keystone of the Church
come and save man,
whom You formed from the dust!
“My spirit rejoices in God my saviour” – Luke 1:47
REFLECTION – “My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.”. The first interpretation of these words is undoubtedly to acknowledge the gifts granted to her, to Mary in particular, by God. But then she recalls the universal blessing with which God never ceases to surround the human race.
The soul glorifies the Lord, when it consecrates all its inner powers on praising and serving God and when, by its submission to the divine commands, it proves that it never loses sight of His power and majesty. The spirit rejoices in God, its Saviour, when it places all its joy in the remembrance of its Creator, from Whom it hopes for eternal salvation. Without doubt, these words exactly express the thought of all the Saints but it was most especially fitting they should be spoken by the blessed Mother of God, who, filled with a special privilege, burned with a wholly spiritual love for the One she had the joy of conceiving in her flesh. More than any other Saint she had good reason to rejoice in Jesus – that is to say, in her Saviour – because He Whom she acknowledged to be the Eternal Author of our salvation, would in time, as she knew, be born in His own flesh and with such authenticity, that in one and the same Person her Son and her God, would be truly present…
Hence it is a praiseworthy and salutary custom, whose fragrance perfumes Holy Church, when everyday at Vespers, we sing the Canticle of the Virgin. We may well expect from this, that the souls of the faithful, by so often calling to mind the Lord’s Incarnation, will be enflamed with even greater fervour and that, such a frequent reminder of His Holy Mother’s example, will strengthen them in virtue. And Vespers is the best time to come back to this song, since our souls, tired by the day and drawn this way and that by the day’s thoughts, need to come back together again, when the hour of rest draws near, so that they may find, once more, their singleness of focus.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Monk, Father and Doctor of the Church (Homilies on the Gospel, I, 4 ; CCL 122, 25f)
PRAYER – The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth, all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is His Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.
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