“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.” Luke 1.46-55
It wasn’t until seminary that I heard of the Magnificat. According to one source, “The Magnificat, also called Canticle of Mary or Ode of the Theotokos, in Christianity, is the hymn of praise by Mary, the mother of Jesus, found in Luke 1:46–55” (https://www.britannica.com › topic)
I did not realize what a big deal this was especially in Orthodox and Catholic circles. This is one of the reasons why she was chosen by God to bear the Son, because she was willing to return praise to God. This hymn of praise is beautiful. It’s ten verses of glorifying God and recounting the good deeds God has done not only for Mary but for Israel as a whole.
This was Mary’s response to what God wanted to do in her life. She first asks the natural question, ‘How can I bear a son since I am a virgin?,’ but after that, she was good to go! God has to convince Joseph not to call off the wedding, but that’s just a minor problem. The receptivity of Mary to welcome in the grace of God and then allow it to pass through her to bless the world was exactly what He was looking for. And he found that by naming Mary the Mother of the Son of God, God-bearer or “theotokos” as seen in the afore mentioned definition, that she was a worthy candidate for such a title.
And while we celebrate Mary’s willingness to be used by God, it begs the question — “Are we also willing to become God’s masterpiece?” Are we willing to enjoy success for his glory? Are we willing to live a celebrate life, full of blessings and gifts so that others might too encounter the love of God?
Too often, I seek recognition for myself. Even if I deny it, it’s hiding right under the surface. I tend to lean towards seeking and fortune, although I’ve not been too successful at either! The trick is to receive the blessing but to return it straight back to God. To receive the gift and then hand it off to others. To receive like Mary did by saying, “My soul magnifies the Lord….generations will call me blessed…for the Mighty One has done great things.”
I challenge each of us to ask God for greater blessings but to humble ourselves along the way. To ask that we might have a strong impact in society by spreading and communicating the Gospel of Christ but realize that it’s not about us. It’s not about you nor is it about me. It really wasn’t even about Mary but it was about Jesus. All of us are vessels in the hands of a loving God. A God who wants all to know him, to find repentance and to experience the love of Christ.
Will you be like Mary who received the blessing and then shared it with the world? Why not do so today?
“O Lord God, you are so good. Thank you for loving me and for allowing me to be your hands and feet. Titles do not matter. Salaries do not matter. Status does not matter. Only to be a keeper of the door in the house of the Lord! This is what matters. Help me Lord to humble myself so you might lift me up. For your glory and by your grace. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen