Friday of the Third Week of Advent
O King of the nations, and their desire, the cornerstone making both one: Come and save the human race, which you fashioned from clay.
Today Mary sings her song of praise to God, the God of surprises and paradoxes. The Lord of the universe—through, with and in Whom the universe is created—resides in the womb of one of His creatures. Her soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, her spirit rejoices in God her Savior, yet He has humbled Himself to be a microscopic presence within her, and has deigned to depend totally upon her for all that He needs.
“O King of the nations,” though mighty you have cast yourself down from your heavenly throne, that by your lowly handmaid you might lift up the lowly. You, though rich, “emptied yourself, taking the form of a slave” (Philippians 2:7) so that one day you might take the form of Bread and Wine, filling the hungry with the finest of food and drink. You showed the strength of your arm by having it nailed helplessly to the Cross, scattering the proud in their conceit through your ultimate humility. You have done great things for your mother, redeeming her at her first moment of life, that she might become the Mother of God, and you have gone on to do great things for us. All generations have called her blessed because through Mary, your mother, mankind has received its greatest blessing: you, our deepest desire, became one of us. You became the cornerstone of a new Kingdom God has built in which Heaven and Earth may meet, where God and Man may once again live as one, and to the confounding of Hell and the awe of humanity you chose as your tent in the early days of your exile one of our own: the lowly Virgin of Nazareth. You fashioned us from clay, Lord, and in Adam’s sin the very earth from which He was made became cursed (Genesis 3:17). Yet in her you have taken on flesh that you might one day lie in the Tomb and cleanse the Earth with your Blood, that all humanity might have life through your death. You have come to the help of your servant Israel by becoming the slave of all. You promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; miracle of miracles! The very Sun shining in the midst of those stars, brightest of all, is a descendant of Abraham—Abraham’s Savior is his descendant!—and from the sands of death comes the Rock of Ages!