Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Proclaiming the Greatness of the Lord

Mary's Song of Praise, the Magnificat, is one of the most well-known and often used hymns contained in scripture. As part of the Evening Prayer of the Church (from the Liturgy of the Hours), it is repeated every day by religious men and women, deacons and priests throughout the world. Yet I wonder how many of us strive to live the words - to really proclaim the greatness of the Lord?
When you examine the words, contained in today's Gospel, Mary does not simply generalize and declare that "God is great". No, she list the ways that she witnesses that greatness. He has mercy, he shows strength, he scatters, he casts down, he lifts up, he fills, he sends away, he helps, he remembers.. all of these are actions that God does in the world around Mary. Now, most others did not even recognize that this was happening. They would have probably even denied that these things were being accomplished. But Mary was able to look beyond the obvious difficulties and oppression under which she was living. She saw that, even if in small ways, God was in control, despite the best efforts of humans.
My reflections today brought me to a place where I began examining my own attitude about the world. It is so easy to see the problems and challenges, to see the sin. But does this mean that God is not acting in our world? Of course not! It simply means that the devil has been distracting us from seeing the greatness, seeing the many things that "God, who is mighty" is doing in and around us.
Today I think we are being called to imitate Mary. Today I think we are being called upon to bear witness to the "greatness of the Lord". God is always doing great things for us. How many can you spot today? And to whom will you proclaim it?

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