And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowly state 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;
indeed, 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 imagination 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 come to the aid of his child Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” (New Revised Standard Version)
Mary’s great song of praise, her “Magnificat” came from having grasped the reality of being pregnant with the Messiah. She affirmed that the all-powerful God “has done great things for me.”
Indeed, the Lord shows mercy to everyone who worships and adores such mighty acts. It strikes me that Mary, instead of being full of worry and afraid of the future, and as an unmarried teen with child, is full of the Spirit and faith.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, neither complained nor fretted for the nine months of her pregnancy; she praised God and had clear-headed faith about the grace shown to her. Mary’s canticle gives us insight into the mystery of the Christ’s incarnation: God chooses the weak, those of low esteem, and the powerless.
Mary was quite ordinary for her day. She had no wealth. There was nothing which caused anyone to pick her out of a crowd. Yet, she is the one chosen by God.
Her wonderful response to God’s grace demonstrated that there is so much more to any person than what we can see with our eyes and perceive through our earthly glasses of high positions and strength of personalities.
What’s more, Mary had the wisdom to discern that her situation typified the Lord’s egalitarian work of leveling the field so that all persons have what they need.
Her son, the Messiah, would carry this into his own life and ministry – declaring good news to the poor, comforting the brokenhearted, proclaiming freedom for captives, telling those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.
God is full of grace, mercy, and strength to those who are powerless and in need of help. The Lord has our back. Perhaps if we all, both individually and corporately, continually used our words to identify and declare the great things God has done, then we would realize and have awareness of the Lord’s abiding blessing.
One good way of gaining a greater awareness and appreciation of God’s gravity of grace is by journaling.
I encourage you to take some time today and write out some of the ways God has been good to you in the past days, weeks, or months.
Perhaps you might even craft your own song of praise, like Mary, and poetically and/or musically express your gratitude. Or maybe, instead of using words, a sketch or a painting may better communicate the great things God has done for you.
However you choose to do it, like Mary, offer praise for each act of mercy which comes to your memory.
An outsider, looking in, might judge Mary to be helpless and weak, not the sort of a person who could carry a Messiah. Yet, we get a view from the inside, a glimpse into Mary’s heart. All along, she had her heart calibrated to detect the grace of God when it was present.
May we all follow her example of faith and confidence.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Humanity: Make me worthy to understand the profound mystery of your holy incarnation, which has happened for our sake and for our salvation.
Truly there is nothing so great and wonderful that you, my God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, should become a creature, so that we might become children of God.
You have humbled yourself and made yourself small that we might be made mighty.
You have taken the form of a servant, so that you might confer upon us a royal and divine beauty.
You, who are beyond our understanding, have made yourself understandable to us in Jesus Christ.
You, who are the uncreated God, have made yourself a creature for us.
You, who are the untouchable One, have made yourself touchable to us.
You, who are Most High, make us capable of understanding your amazing love and the wonderful things you have done for us.
Make us able to understand the mystery of your incarnation, the mystery of your life, example, and doctrine, the mystery of your cross and passion, the mystery of your resurrection and ascension. Blessed are you, O Lord, for coming to earth as a man.
You have done great things for me!
Amen, and amen.