“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 forever.” (Luke 1:46-56)
Can you imagine Christmas without Christmas carols? Fortunately, they abound. Each has a message. Each of us has our favorite.
Our Gospel today reminds us of a very special one — Mary’s song. Called the Magnificat (from Latin meaning to magnify); Mary “magnifies” the Lord, by proclaiming God’s greatness and rejoicing in God as Savior. Though He has yet to be born, she wants to sing His praises and magnify His name.
As Mary experienced the joy and amazement of God’s plan for her, we too have an opportunity to experience this Joy and Amazement of God in our lives. We too are invited with this message of hope and promise. A message that is so needed as we see the pain in our country and the world.
We are invited to believe in that hope and seek out others to share that belief. We are invited to seek out those that have lost hope and, for a moment, bring light to their darkness by magnifying His presence. We are invited to recognize that, for too long, we have allowed our personal lives to take precedence in the way we live our lives – our needs, our wants, our anguish, our anger, yes, our pettiness.
Because amidst all of that lies the promise of His birth. The promise of His salvation for us. The promise that no matter who we are, where we are from, what we do, our birth, made possible by Him, ordains us to nobility in His eyes and His plan.
Can we do that? Can we believe that? Yes and Yes. Because we each share something in common with Mary. God chose Mary, by His grace, so that Christ might be formed in her, and then introduced to the world through her.
God wants the same in our lives. By the Holy Spirit, Christ dwells in us, by grace, through faith. And by the same Spirit, Christ is introduced through us to those in our world; introduced in our words, our love, our service. And this astounding privilege should put a song in our mouth. Because of Jesus, we cannot help but speak.
You see, your calling and mine, is to magnify the great love that God has for us. Just think of the hope and promise contained in that. Just think how different it would be if you and I brought alive His light and promise to someone who is existing in the dark. How we could make this world less divided, more trustworthy and more hopeful. It’s a challenge but one that could truly happen because His Son came for that reason – to make us whole, to make us recognize how loved we are and to awaken us to the grace that lives in us which could change our world.
Let your words and actions magnify the Lord today and every day.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, help me to earnestly seek you with humility and confidence. Increase my faith in your promises, strengthen within me the hope of heaven and eternal life, and set my heart on fire with love for you and your kingdom. May I always praise and magnify your greatness and mercy.”
Mary sings about the God who saves not just souls, but embodies people. The God she celebrates is not content merely to point people toward heaven; God’s redemptive work begins here on earth. God fills the hungry not only with hope, but with food. Rather than being satisfied with comforting the lowly, Mary’s Lord lifts them up, granting them dignity and honor, a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation. At the same time, God shows strength by disrupting the world’s power structures, dethroning rulers, and humbling the proud, the mighty.
Mary’s song magnifies the Savior who loves the whole world with a love that makes creation whole, that has given us the priceless gift of God’s salvation.