During these days of Advent we often read the Gospel texts referring to John the Baptist. John was a great sign of hope for Israel, and hope is at the centre of all the Church's reflection during this season of preparation for Advent. Today, however, our thoughts turn to Mary. Traditionally called "The Golden Mass", today's Mass has throughout the ages been celebrated in a special way. For all our thoughts of Mary, Mother of Jesus, are special.
In the Alleluia verse we pray that Jesus "Key of David", may free the prisoners of darkness. This is a fitting prayer to make in a Mass which particularly honours Mary, for she was freed from darkness at her very conception: she was conceived without original sin, and stands before us as a promise that one day we too will be totally set free from darkness in the glory of the resurrection.
Each time we recite the "Hail Mary" we repeat the words of the angel, the very words of God inviting Mary to represent all humanity in reversing the stance of Adam. Celebrating the mystery of Mary, we celebrate the loving kindness of our God, who has desired to set us free from all the darkness of sin.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.