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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 22.12.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 22.12.2023


1ST SAMUEL 1: 24 – 28

In those days: Hannah took Samuel up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine; and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slew the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me my petition which I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” And they worshipped the Lord there.

The Word of the Lord.

1st Samuel 2: 1, 4 – 5, 6 – 7, 8abcd (R.) 1a

R/. My heart exults in the Lord, my Saviour.

My heart exults in the Lord;
My strength is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation. R/.

The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
But she who has many children is forlorn. R/.

The Lord kills and brings to life;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low, he also exalts. R/.

He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the dung heap,
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honour. R/.


Alleluia. Alleluia.
Come, O King of the nations and cornerstone of the Church! Come and save man, whom you formed from the clay of the earth.

“He who is mighty has done great things for me.”
LUKE 1: 46 – 56

At that time: Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold; henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, In remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his posterity for ever.” And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and returned to her home.

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Proclaim and Rejoice!

Friday, December 22, 2023

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1:46–47)

There is an age-old question that asks, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Well, perhaps it’s an age-old “question” because only God knows the answer to how He created the world and all the creatures within it.

Today, this first line from the glorious song of praise of our Blessed Mother, the Magnificat, poses to us another question. “Which comes first, to praise God or to rejoice in Him?” Perhaps you’ve never asked yourself that question, but it’s worth pondering both the question and the answer.

This first line of Mary’s song of praise identifies two actions taking place within her. She “proclaims” and she “rejoices.” Think about those two interior experiences. The question can be better phrased like this: Did Mary proclaim God’s greatness because she was first filled with joy? Or was she filled with joy because she first proclaimed the greatness of God? Perhaps the answer is a bit of both, but the ordering of this line in Sacred Scripture implies that she first proclaimed and as a result was filled with joy.

This is not just a philosophical or theoretical reflection; rather, it is a very practical one that offers significant insight into our daily lives. Oftentimes in life we wait to be “inspired” by God before we thank and praise Him. We wait until God touches us, fills us with a joyful experience, answers our prayer and then we respond with gratitude. This is good. But why wait? Why wait to proclaim the greatness of God?

Should we proclaim the greatness of God when things are difficult in life? Yes. Should we proclaim the greatness of God when we do not feel His presence in our lives? Yes. Should we proclaim the greatness of God even when we encounter the heaviest of crosses in life? Most certainly yes.

Proclaiming the greatness of God should not only be done after some powerful inspiration or answer to prayer. It should not only be done after we experience the closeness of God. Proclaiming God’s greatness is a duty of love and must always be done, every day, in every circumstance, no matter what. We proclaim God’s greatness primarily because of Who He is. He is God. And He is worthy of all our praise for that fact alone.

Interestingly, however, the choice to proclaim the greatness of God, both in good times and in difficult times, often also leads to the experience of joy. It appears that Mary’s spirit rejoiced in God her Savior primarily because she first proclaimed His greatness. Joy comes from first serving God, loving Him and giving Him the honor due His name.

Reflect, today, upon this twofold process of proclaiming and rejoicing. Proclaiming must always come first, even if we feel as though there is nothing to rejoice about. But if you can commit yourself to the proclamation of the greatness of God, you will suddenly find that you have discovered the deepest cause of joy in life: God Himself.

Dearest Mother, you chose to proclaim the greatness of God. You acknowledged His glorious action in your life and in the world, and your proclamation of these truths filled you with joy. Pray for me that I may also seek to glorify God each and every day, no matter what challenges or blessings I receive. May I imitate you, dear Mother, and share also in your perfect joy. Mother Mary, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

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