Reversal, Reversal of expectations, and reversal of outcomes, that's what we see in the readings for today.
Mary's Magnificat, or song of praise, outline this unexpected reversal. The rich will be sent away empty, the proud will be scattered, the mighty will be dethroned; while the lowly are lifted up, and the hungry are filled. Mary's witness of God's reversal of fortunes, was echoed in 1-Samuel for the Responsorial Psalm: the bows of the mighty are broken, the well-fed hire themselves out for bread: while the hungry have their fill and the feeble are made strong.
This reversal goes against the beliefs of many people at the time, who believed that bad things happen because they did something wrong, and sometimes it's true... if you purposely hit your thumb with a hammer, you WILL have a bad outcome. But many times there is no direct correlation between how holy someone is, and the earthly results. Innocent children are taken home to God for no apparent reason, while some who evil thrive in this world. The Jewish people at the time believed that sin is what caused a negative outcome. And sometimes we believe this same way as well.
But take heart, we have the example of Hannah, who's womb was barren until she prayed to God for assistance. God answered Hannah's prayer and she bore the child as a gift from God. A child she willingly gave back to God, a child who would someday be a great prophet. So we see the reversal, a negative – loss of her only child - reversed into a positive – a prophet for God. Mary sees the reversal in her own life as well, her Magnificat is not a statement that all will be cushy for her, but she has faith that God will use the child she conceived for good. An ultimate good, the salvation of many.
God has also given us gifts: time, talent, treasure, what are we willing to offer back to God to witness the great things He can do with our gift as He reverses expectations.
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