Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
(I Samuel 1:24-28; Luke 1:46-56)
The movie It’s a Wonderful Life has more than a Christmas scene to recommend it as an all-time holiday classic. More crucially, the film demonstrates all the hope that the child Jesus brings into the world. The schemes of the villain Potter are vanquished while poor people are enabled to live with dignity in their own homes. Most of all, God comes to the help of his faithful servant, George Bailey, in his hour of desperation.
What director Frank Capra puts on film, Mary proclaims in the gospel today. She sings of how in sending His son into the world, God fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty. Mary makes these claims after pondering in her heart all that the angel and her kinswoman, Elizabeth, tell her. She is Jesus’ true disciple who listens to the word of God, turns it over in her heart, and then gives it fresh expression. All of us should imitate her not only with words about what God has done for us, but also with deeds that bespeak God’s mercy.