SCRIPTURE: LUKE 1:39-55
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
REFLECTION by John Jervis
This Chapter has Luke observing, describing and offering quotes from Mary —words that give special meaning to a central theme of Christianity’s spirituality. Here’s Mary, “with child,” as people would phrase it many centuries later, discoursing on her special relationship to God. “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Clearly, we are left to visualize a plain peasant chosen from among the many who could have fulfilled the role God intended. Importantly, those others would have included women of means and high community standing. But they were overlooked. It was her steadfast faith which brought her to the exalted and honored situation. Luke described her thoughts and words: “(My Lord) has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on generations will call me blessed.” Luke provides us with the special insight Mary sees in her chosen role. One learns from the reading Mary understands the spiritual importance of her assignment and the reasoning for God’s choice. Luke continues with Mary’s words …”He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.”
What do we get from this? That Mary was chosen for the expansiveness of her faith in God, not from any prominent place in her community. How appropriate. We see clearly God’s intention, a central tenet in Christianity — that is, to lift up the downtrodden, feed and clothe them, all the while bolstering their faith in God. It is, in fact, a critical spiritual message. No human being left adrift. The most dispirited, the most antisocial, the destitute and those who deviate most from the norm: these are the beings most in need of our love, our kindness and our total support. Mary voiced it, Luke recorded it and now it is our Christian heritage.
God, give us the courage to say yes when you call our names. Give us wisdom to recognize the call and love to have the patience with each other as we strive to live by Your will. Amen.
Live without fear: your Creator has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Go in peace to follow the good road and may God’s blessing be with you always. Amen.
(source: from Saint Clare)