Readings and Reflection for December 22, Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent


Hannah gives thanks for the birth of Samuel.
A reading from the first Book of Samuel (1 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.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 1 Samuel 2:1.4-5.6-7.8abcd (R. see 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/.

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

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. Alleluia.

“He who is mighty has done great things for me.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (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

Pride is a stumbling block to spiritual wholeness. It keeps us from admitting our human failings of selfishness, greed and indifference; it hinders our ability to know our true nature of love and goodness. Pride kicks God out of our lives, making us think that everything depends on us or that we are in control of everything. Although we may look good on the outside, our inner selves may be scattered or shattered. To be free we must give up pride and admit we are weak and in need of help. With such a posture of surrender, we find and experience freedom and inner peace. “God scatters the proud… and exalts (only) those of low degree.”


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