*Alternate* First Reading: “Magnificat” by John Shea

All that I am
sings of the God
who brings his life
to birth in me.
My spirit soars
on the wings of my Lord.
He has smiled on me
and the blaze of his smile
no woman or man
shall ever forget.

My God is a gentle strength
who has caught me up
and carried me to greatness.
His love
Space cannot hold
nor time age
and all quicken to his touch.

My God is a torrent of justice.
He takes the straight paths
in the minds of the proud
and twists them to labyrinth.
The boot of the oppressor
He pushes aside
and raises the lowly,
whom he loves,
from the ground.
With his own hands
He sets a table for the hungry
but the unfeeling rich suffer the cold eye
of his judgment.

Our mothers and our fathers
He has held in his arms
and the future grows
like this child within me
or the God of whom I sing
bears us his son.

A reflection from John Shea