December 22, 2022
Amidst all the sentiments and perhaps nostalgia that popularly surround the season of Advent and Christmas, a good way to look at these seasons is through the eyes of the Magnificat. It blossoms with the simplicity, humility, poverty, and praise of our Blessed Mother Mary, despite the significant role that her “fiat” or “yes” has played in the history of salvation of the whole of humanity.
In the first part of the Magnificat, Mary rejoices in the tremendous blessing of being “highly favored” by the Father who has done great things for her but embracing her mission to humanity. In the later part, she praises God in harmony with the whole history of the faithful and celebrates the work of God who “scatters the proud-hearted… casts the mighty from their thrones… fills the hungry with good things.”
St. Ambrose, in his commentary of the Magnificat, says: “In the heart of each one may Mary praise the Lord, in each may the spirit of Mary rejoice in the Lord; if, according to the flesh, Christ has only one mother, according to faith all souls engender Christ; each one, in fact, receives in himself the Word of God … Mary’s soul magnifies the Lord and her spirit rejoices in God as, consecrated with her soul and spirit to the Father and to the Son, she adores with devout affection only one God, from whom everything proceeds, and only one Lord, in virtue of whom all things exist” (“Esposizione del Vangelo Secondo Luca,” 2,26-27: Saemo, XI, Milan-Rome, 1978, p. 169).
In a recent homily of Pope Francis, he pointed out that Mary foretold in the Magnificat that it will not be power, success, and money that will prevail, but rather service, humility, and love. True power according to him is service—and reign means to love, to serve.
1. In your current state of things, can you praise God because he has done great things for you?
2. Do see or define “great things” as Mother Mary does?