Mary 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.”
If Mary can give thanks to God, then all of us can give thanks to God!
This morning I was reading an article on FOXNEWS that reported the destruction of a controversial billboard by a single vandal in New Zealand. The vandal is a Roman Catholic and the billboard portrays the Blessed Virgin Mary in shock over a positive pregnancy test. The Rev. Glynn Cardy, vicar of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, who had earlier described the poster as “thought provoking”, told reporters, “I’m disappointed that there is not more tolerance of different view. They obviously feel strongly about it. I’m just disappointed that strength of feeling has led to vandalism.” I think the reverends comments are ludicrous and down-right intolerant and insensitive of religious sentiment and feeling. I prefer the comments of the vandal, Mr. Skinner, who proclaimed proudly outside the church, “Yes, it is vandalism. I’m guilty. If they want to arrest me, be my guest. If it comes to that, I believe in being persecuted for my Christian faith.” He told the crowd of worshippers: “We are Catholics. We don’t look for trouble, but watch out if you start this sort of thing.”
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord! My Spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Let us never forget what Mary was willing to endure as she said these words and walked the talk. Do I easily get tempted and fall into sin? If so, then think of Mary. Was she not thinking of all she would endure and suffer for this child? She knew her dark night was just around the corner. She also knew that the resurrection was just over the horizon. Dust kicks up before it settles. But it was He who ordained it and she who accepted it! And neither of them ever really lost control over it. Neither should you!
There’s a lot of news about our Christian faith these days. I guarantee you that it will all die down immediately after Christmas. O, how the media loves to play games with the faithful! Recently, a team of Italian scientists announced that the Shroud of Turin could not possibly be a fake; after all, they concluded, the ultraviolet energy required to produce this type of image was not available in medieval times. Logically speaking, we must conclude that it was not available in Christ’s time either. Hence, the image we see today must have been created by supernatural means.
Over here in the United States we have another team of scientists who found some earth sized planets a few million light years away from us. Since they were found in the Galactic Habitable Zone, they may actually have life on them. While that always remains a possibility (and not always a probability), we should once in a while turn the telescope around and carefully observe our very existence and planet. We seem to forget that sin ejects us from our habitable zone and throws us into our uncomfortable zone. This morning I went for a walk, and as I watched the sun rise, I breathed in the morning air and took in the morning dew. It was a beautiful sight for these poor eyes that are often flooded with artificial lighting and artificial air. How puzzling it all is. If I am so attached to all these hypotheses and theories, than why do I find it so hard to dedicate myself to the Lord? O, the mystery of pride and humility, sin and grace, life and death.
Mary sang of God’s revelation that called her by name. The Magnificat is a canticle that should be sung and read by young and old alike. It is the greatest tribute to honesty and majesty; to child and God alike.