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The canticle of Mary

REFLECTIONS TODAY

Updated

LUKE 1:46-56

reflectionstodayMary 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.

REFLECTION

MY SOUL PROCLAIMS THE GREATNESS OF THE LORD. Mary’s song, popularly known as the Magnificat, may very well be the first Christmas song for all believers. The name of Jesus is not mentioned in this song, but Mary narrates how God intervenes in the history of humankind. She also mentions how God has rescued Israel from her enemies, even as she expresses her hope for God’s unfailing help to people in the future.

The title Magnificat is derived from the first line of Mary’s song. Mary exclaims, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!” This is Mary’s response to her cousin Elizabeth who greets her, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Mary rejoices not because she is going to be popular but because she knows that each time the Lord’s favors extended to her and to her people Israel will be recounted, God’s name will forever be praised.

The Magnificat reflects the strong faith in God held by Hebrews since times past. In fact, Mary borrows a few lines from the song of Hannah. Remaining childless and growing despondent, Hannah seeks help from Eli, priest in the Temple of Shiloh. After a year, Hannah returns to the Temple to give thanks to God and to leave behind her son Samuel. He will be the last judge of Israel who will anoint Saul as the first King and, much later, his successor David.

Mary will also offer her son Jesus at the Temple. She will not do it only once, but continually, since Jesus starts his public ministry until his self-immolation on the cross at Calvary.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

 

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