Gospel LK 1:46-56
Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. 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.”
Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.
When I contemplate the Blessed Mother Mary, she always seems quiet and thoughtful. A woman of few words. Yet, Mary is a mother who is teaching us by her example.
How often do we hear Mother Mary speak in Scriptures?
Mary’s words are recorded on four occasions. In Luke 1:34, 38, when Mary speaks to the Archangel Gabriel. Soon after she visits her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:46-55), when Mary proclaims the Magnificat. Then in Luke 2:48, when Mary and Joseph find Jesus in the temple. Then we hear Mother Mary speaking in the Gospel of John at the wedding feast in Cana. (John 2:3 and John 2:5)
Elizabeth greets Mary, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the sound of my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”(Luke 1:42-45), In answer to her cousin the Blessed Virgin Mary proclaims her longest discourse, the Magnificat.
There are many versions of the Magnificat written in songs. It is prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours during the evening prayer by religious, monks, and the lay. All consecrated souls and devotees of Mary pray the Magnificat. Why?
“The Magnificat is the most perfect act of humility and profound humble adoration.”(Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.) In the first line of her prayer Mary says, “My soul proclaims or magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” What is it to magnify the Lord’s presence in us? How can we proclaim the greatness of the Lord? Praising God and giving him the credit for our accomplishments is one way to proclaim His Greatness. Mary gives the credit to God for those who call her “blessed.” She gives credit where credit is due …to God! Praise be to God!
“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.”
(Luke 1:52-53) Mary shows us here that she must seek humility rather than pride. She seeks God’s mercy rather than foolishly depending on her own strength.
How can we have a servant’s heart? Look at our Mother Mary’s example and even her words are expressed in her actions.
As St. Ambrose once said about the Magnificat, “Let Mary’s soul be in us to glorify the Lord; let her spirit be in us that we may rejoice in God our Savior.”
Let us pray for the virtues of Mary, especially, humility and her gift of humble adoration.
Let us pray this Evening's Liturgy of the Hours and contemplate Mary’s Prayer, the Magnificat.