Monday, Fourth Week of Advent

[Scripture Readings: 1 Sam 1:24-28; Lk 1:46-56]

Mary's song praising God's greatness is full of revolutionary fireworks, the pent up cry of the poor and weak against the greedy and mighty. God scatters the proud and powerful, bringing them down and sending them away empty. She has a revolutionary soul.

But what happened later on? It was her Son who was crucified and who suffers persecution in his Body today. As we speak, the Islamic State, ISIS, is selling off sacred vessels and icons from the Christian churches of Iraq and Syria. It is using these places of worship as torture chambers to force Christians into Islam. If torture does not work they crucify or behead even little children who refuse to renounce Jesus.

Was Mary profoundly disappointed, like John the Baptist, as she watched her Son's career unfold and heard Jesus talk about turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, and loving one's enemy? Or, is that the revolution she foretold: the ultimate triumph of the nonviolent, whose suffering, faith and love will save even their persecutors?