Scripture: Lectionary 177: Isaiah 11:1-10. Psalm 72: 1.7-8.12-13.17. Luke 10:21-24:
Advent calls us to experience Jesus who is in our hearts and minds. Prayer is the normal way of enjoying the friendship of Jesus and Advent beckons us to be more attentive to the voice of Jesus given to us in the Scriptures. It is the living voice of the Son of God born of Mary of Nazareth. His words are for our salvation.
We experience Jesus at prayer in today’s magnificent Gospel that records this prayer of our Lord. Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit and opens up the hearts of those who are fortunate enough to hear and receive what he is saying in this prayer which is personal and revelatory. He rejoices in the Spirit and prays to the Father for allowing those who are open to receive what he is saying and praying.
We, too, are being led by his example and by the power of the Holy Spirit to pray with Jesus as do children who have the mysteries of the Lord given to them.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is our foremost example in how to pray and experience what Jesus reveals to us. She was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and enjoyed the very presence of the Word becoming flesh within her. She rejoiced in singing her psalm of praise and love. Her soul and spirit rejoiced and acknowledged the good things God has done for her. She magnifies the Lord without looking to herself. She ponders over and reflects on that prayer of hers and of Jesus praying within her. All is the work and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
I have learned that some Dominican sisters have the Magnificat as their mission statement. One of them told me she uses this prayer of Mary after receiving Communion. I have done this for a number of years now and find that it helps me to be attentive to the presence of God within me after receiving the precious body and blood of the Lord.
It also helps to keep attentive and free of distractions in these silent moments with the Lord.
We are capable of being like the children mentioned by Jesus who experience the mysteries hidden from the learned and the clever. We rejoice in the prayer of Jesus to the Father—and thanks to the Holy Spirit, we, too, are capable of learning the mysteries of the God of Creation and Salvation. Advent beckons us to invoke the presence of the Trinity within our souls and to do it each day with rejoicing. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.