Day 25: It is clear why we sing Handel’s “Messiah” at Christmas, rather than at Easter.
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He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
We often consider the death and resurrection of Christ to be the moment of His ultimate victory. Time, however, is not so linear for God. In his omnipotence, our creator would have known exactly where his Incarnation would lead. Here, Mary seems to know as well.
In the words that would become the Magnificat, the Blessed Mother acknowledges that the victory of God is already at hand. Jesus was not sent to himself to “fill the hungry with good things” or to “scatter the proud in their conceit.”; it is through his very being these things are accomplished, with a human assist.
That Mary had conceived the Son of the Father had already achieved these goals. It is an end in its own right. With this in mind it becomes clear why we sing Handel’s “Messiah” at Christmas, rather than at Easter. For it was at the conception of Jesus that “Lord God omnipotent reigneth” and the victorious nature of the tune only furthers the idea that such a victory was already at hand.
O God, who, seeing the human race fallen into death,
willed to redeem it by the coming of your only Begotten son, grant, we pray,
that those who confess his incarnation with humble fervor may merit his company as their Redeemer.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, one God, for ever and ever.