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Day 5 - Mary, Model of Faith

(December 4)

Introductory Prayer

All-holy Father, eternal God,
in your goodness
you prepared a royal throne for your Wisdom
in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
bathe your Church in the radiance of your 
life-giving Word,
that it may press forward on its pilgrim way
in the light of your truth,
and so come to the joy
of a perfect knowledge of your love.

God of wisdom,
in your desire to restore us to your friendship
after we had lost it by sin,
you chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
as the seat of your Wisdom.

Grant through her intercession
that we may seek not the folly of the wise
but the loving service
that marks out the poor in spirit.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reading Lk 1:45-56

[And Elizabeth exclaimed:]

"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

And Mary said,

"My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
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 her about three months, and returned to her home.

Consideration

"Elizabeth's words ‘And blessed is she who be­lieved' do not apply only to that particular moment of the Annun­ciation. Certainly the Annunciation is the culminating moment of Mary's faith in her awaiting of Christ, but it is also the point of departure from which her whole ‘journey towards God' begins, her whole pilgrimage of faith. And on this road, in an eminent and truly heroic man­ner-indeed, with an ever-greater heroism of faith-the ‘obedience' which she professes to the word of divine revelation will be fulfilled. Mary's ‘obedience of faith' during the whole of her pilgrimage will show surprising similarities to the faith of Abraham. Just like the Patriarch of the People of God, so too Mary, during the pilgrimage of her filial and maternal fiat, ‘in hope believed against hope.'

"In the expression ‘Blessed is she who believed,' we can therefore rightly find a kind of ‘key' that unlocks for us the innermost reality of Mary, whom the angel hailed as ‘full of grace.' If as ‘full of grace' she has been eternally present in the mystery of Christ, through faith she became a sharer in that mystery in every extension of her earthly journey. She ‘advanced in her pilgrimage of faith,' and at the same time, in a discreet yet direct and effective way, she made present to humanity the mystery of Christ. And she still continues to do so. Through the mystery of Christ, she too is present within mankind. Thus through the mystery of the Son the mystery of the Mother also is made clear."42

The Holy Rosary may be prayed.

Concluding Prayer

Lord God,
you prepared a worthy dwelling place for your Son by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin;
grant, we pray,
that, as you preserved her from all stain of sin
in your foreknowledge of his death,
so we, by her intercession,
may come to you with pure hearts.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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