Advent Reflection

Friday of the third Week of Advent – December 22, 2017 1 Sm 1:24-28, 1 Sm 2:1:4-5,6-7, Luke 1:46-66

Reflection by Mike Magre ‘83

As I write this reflection I must give a shout-out to a good friend and colleague. He asked me if I had ever read the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. I had not, so I took an evening and read the play. I highly recommend it. In the third act, the character Emily has died and is among the dead souls. Emily asks permission of the stage manager (who is God) if she can return to one day of her life. She is allowed to return, and Emily looks with great regret at all the people who do not notice all the wonderful things that are happening in life. Emily asks the stage manager, “Does anybody ever realize life while they live it…every, every, minute?” The stage manager answers, “No, saints and poets, maybe.”

In the Gospel, Mary is the great poet singing the Magnificat so that all know the glory of God. Mary is very aware of not only what God has done throughout all of history, but what God is doing now for her. As a saint, Mary can see clearly the wonders of this life and the wonders of God. We are called to sainthood. We are called to live “every, every minute” of our lives. With a divine purpose. As children of God.

I know in today’s world it may be easy to become discouraged. We have an entire industry devoted to making us see everything as a crisis. The world can seem a very depressing and overwhelming place. If anyone had a reason to feel discouraged I believe it would be the people living in Mary’s time. Conquered people living under corrupt leaders, trying to stay alive and to maintain their faith. But Mary reminds us to keep hope in God. That God had done and continues to do great things, and Mary realized “that all generations will call her blessed.” As a saint, she has the wisdom to see God’s plan and God’s plan in action so her “soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” For me it is a reminder to put away worry and anxiety and focus on the joy and peace that is God’s great gift to us.

So this Christmas I plan to join with the poets, to sing the great carols, but more importantly I want to join with the saints. And then maybe I can get just a glimpse of what Mary saw, and this Christmas if I can use Mary as an example, my spirit will rejoice in “God my savior.”

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