Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Song of Mary, Third Sunday of Advent

Canticle 15
The Song of Mary MagnificatLuke 1:46-55
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; 
for he has looked with favor on 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, he 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 has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.

Faith, Hope and Love
A reflection on Luke: 1:46-55

I love this passage of Scripture.  I find Mary’s song beautiful and I hear in it faith, hope and love.  Mary is a woman of faith.  She’s able to see through the eyes of God and see the ending before the beginning has begun.  Nothing has happened yet.  Jesus has yet to walk on water or heal the sick or raise the dead.  He hasn’t even been born and yet Mary is rejoicing at all the things God has done that still appear to be quite undone.  It seems like even in our own time the mighty are still on their thrones, the hungry are still hungry and the lowly have yet to be lifted up, in fact they seem to be falling even lower.  I think about Haiti, the country my parents come from.  I think about all the hardship and suffering that tiny island has endured, then the earthquakes, then the cholera outbreak, then the riots after the elections.  Is there really a reason to rejoice?

During prayer at The Crossing last night there was a man who expressed such anger and exasperation towards God.  At first I felt like saying, “Oh no buddy!  You don’t talk like that in God’s house!”  Then I started praying for him inwardly and I began to feel compassion towards him.  I prayed that the anger, the pain and the frustration would not deceive him and blind him to the goodness of God even in the midst of a world that’s gone awry. 

Mary would agree with him.  Indeed there is darkness in this world, but somehow Mary understood that the darkness cannot overcome the light.  She had hope.   Now Mary wasn’t some bright-eyed idealist.  She spent her entire life living under Roman occupation.  She knew what pain was.  She knew what injustice was.  She knew what it was like to feel humiliated.  There must have been times when she felt powerless and helpless.  But as her belly swelled and she could feel life stirring within her she had hope.  Hope that light was coming into the world and indeed in some way was now here.  Hope that her tomorrow would be better than her today.  She had so much hope that God would right the wrongs that in her mind the issue was already settled; it was already done.  The mighty have been cast down.  The hungry have been filled.  The lowly have been lifted up.  Her faith and her hope erupted into love for a God who deeply cared about her and her world.  And so she opened up her mouth and let words of praise flow out and her song is still ringing in our ears to this day.

I stand with Mary on this one.  In the midst of all the pain, suffering and trouble this world can throw at us I have faith because the One who promises is faithful.  I have hope that a day is coming when all of the shackles of injustice shall be broken.  And that hope gives me the strength to work towards hastening that day until it arrives.  I have love for a God who cares about me and my world.  Indeed there is darkness in this world, but light is coming and has now come and the darkness cannot overcome the light.


No comments:

Post a Comment