Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Today, out of gratitude for the many blessings I have received, I will give something good to someone in need.
I love you, Lord, for
you have loved me first. You have allowed me to see your provident hand in so many events of my
life; how can I not believe in you? These days of Advent have slipped away so quickly. You are
almost at my doorstep, ready to knock. I want to be ready for your arrival on Christmas Day.
Therefore, I pour out my humble plea before you.
Lord Jesus, mark
my life with gratitude.
1. The Key Word:
The Magnificat, and indeed the entire
history of salvation, can be summarized in the word “favor”. This is the true motive of Christmas.
God looks with favor (or good will) upon mankind. Many times, we see our spiritual life as the
effort we make to become pleasing in God’s eyes, drawing his blessings down upon us. This would mean
that in some way we bring about our own growth in holiness. This is not the case: God is never
“obliged” to grant us his grace. We do not “deserve” anything from God. Our spiritual life should
consist in presenting ourselves before God as we truly are: sinners. By placing our weakness before
his omnipotence, we draw down his favor to lift us up from our misery and to adopt us as his
children. This is what happened as he “looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant
2. The Gift of Himself:
To demonstrate his immense love for us and to give
himself to us, God becomes one of us. Love makes us seek to become more like our beloved. How could
God become more like his beloved creature? He not only became man, but he shared the lot of the
poorest of the poor. Very few humans, even among the paupers, have been born in a stable. How many
babies are laid in the feeding trough of a cow or horse? Well, that is exactly what a manger is.
Though he was rich (he was God almighty), he became poor, to enrich us with his poverty. We need to
ask ourselves: what we are doing to become more like our beloved? What are we doing to imitate
Christ in his gift of self?Have we learned to put aside our whims and fancies in order to do
the things that are pleasing to our spouse, children or parents? These are the ways to prepare
ourselves for a grace-filled Christmas.
3. Abundant Blessings:
The rest of the
Magnificat is a glorification of God, recognizing the favors he bestows upon those who love him. All
generations will call us “blessed.” God will show the might of his arm, he will lift up the lowly,
and the hungry he will fill with good things… We truly have so much for which to be thankful. The
challenge of our Christian lives is to be mindful of our blessings and mark our actions with the
seal of gratitude. We glorify God and we bless God when we try to respond according to all the good
he has done in our lives. Then in turn, others will call us blessed, because our filial attitude
opens the door for God to enter in and do still more good through us. Do I count my many
blessings often? Do I truly seek to “repay” God by cooperating, and am I aware that in return he
will bring about still more good and bless me more?
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, as I prepare my soul for your coming this Christmas,
I invite you to
enter my humble dwelling. Please do
not pass by without bestowing your blessings upon my
soul. I need your grace. I will not leave your presence today
least a crumb from your banquet. Allow me to
thank and praise you for your infinite mercy
as you look
upon your lowly servant.
Today, out of
gratitude for the many blessings I have received, I will give something good to someone in