22nd of December

Reflection on the Magnificat

day 23 the visitation


We either recite or sing the Magnificat daily during our Evening Prayer. Let us reflect a little on this most beautiful hymn of praise.

At the Annunciation, Mary received news from the Angel Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth had also conceived a child. Without any thought for herself, thinking only of the other, Mary embarked on a long tiresome journey to the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth.

Imagine the joy of these two ‘spirit’ filled women as they met? They rejoice in the wonders God is working in each of them. Together they shared their joy in God’s abundant goodness, how He has blest them with the promise of new life within them. I imagine they also shared their many fears and anxieties – Elizabeth was well on in years, past the age of having a child and Mary was unmarried.

The baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy as Mary entered. Elizabeth was to exclaim ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb’

Mary’s response was to proclaim her Magnificat – My soul proclaims the glory of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my saviour. ….. a wonderful hymn of praise to her God which has been echoed down the ages ever since.

Mary's Magnificat doesn’t focus on herself but on the great work of God. God’s values are so different from ours, especially his tendency to seemingly turn everything upside down!

He chose Mary a poor unknown girl to be the mother of His beloved Son, not someone who could provide Him with everything he needed to get on in the world. We too have been chosen by God and we are not the best either!

He scatters the proud, brings down the mighty from their thrones and raises up the lowly. He fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty.

God is fulfilling the promise He made to Abraham and to his descendants that He would send them a Redeemer.

What does the Magnificat mean to me personally?

What does it say to me? When I really ponder the words of the Magnificat do they disturb me in any way?

What about my values?

Do I like to be the one in authority? Am I proud and haughty?

 Do I discriminate against the poor giving deference to those more well off?

I am certainly not hungry, I have more food than most people in the world and by the standards in today’s world I am very rich!

Mary’s Magnificat should be a challenge to each of us, perhaps as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Saviour we can reflect on our values, what do we think is important, what are our priorities at this time?        

 Do I look for security? Am I willing to take a risk for others not as fortunate as me? This may be as simple as stepping out of my comfort zone showing support and care to someone in my own community who is lonely or unwell. Use me Lord to tell the poor that you love them, the lonely that you let them know that you care for them, may I be a light to those in darkness.

Each of us will receive many gifts I’m sure this Christmas; will I be able in some way to share these with the poor? If I am young and fit enough can I go out and minister to the poor in some meaningful way? In doing so I help them to recognise that Jesus is here for them too and wants to bring some joy into their lives.

 Mary's song should stir in me a desire to live today for what really matters, so that God might use me to promote His kingdom and bring His joy and love to others.

In these days just before Christmas, we can so easily get caught up in preparations that we miss the whole purpose of what the significance of this feast really means. Mary encourages us to reflect, to think about what is really important in our lives.

We can also reflect on the marvels that God has done for us, how he has worked in our lives and give thanks for these great gifts as we pray Mary’s great hymn of praise.

Taize Magnificat

Reference = YouTube = Taize Magnificat second from top!!

It’s a good job she sees more with the heart as her eyes are not behaving too well these days. That’s our ‘bonny lass’.


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