“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
Take a Moment to Ponder
These verses from Mary’s song of praise – the Magnificat, are said each evening at Evening Prayer and form part of the readings for the observance of the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin.
As we contemplate our times, it can be difficult to say that we are rejoicing, because there is so much hardship, natural disasters, and illness around us and directly impacting us. When things were going well, we may have said we were too blessed to be stressed. But for many, we have reached a breaking point, with too many concerns besetting us at the same time.
But as we contemplate Mary’s words, the context in which she spoke was not that great – in truth, it was a difficult time of hardship under Roman oppression.
Yet, in all the difficulty, Mary received God’s message that a Saviour would be born to save humanity. God was coming to dwell with us. God was inviting her to participate in human salvation by becoming a vessel to bear the Holy Child.
Her spirit rejoiced, because despite the difficulties that surrounded her – she knew that there was cause for hope – God was about to restore the downtrodden, to right the wrongs of the world, to take charge.
For us who have become disheartened by all that we face in life, Mary’s words are still available to lift our spirits, as she reminds us that the current difficulties do not have the last word – God does.
God is present in our midst, and therefore we have a hope that no pandemic, no illness, no storm or disaster can shake. We must now live into the reality of what God has prepared for us and be prepared for God to use us as His vessels to bear Christ and the Good News to others. Amen
Call a friend or a member who is unable to leave home and share an uplifting word of scripture, and pray with them.
Remember to pray for our brothers and sisters who are journeying through troubled times
A Moment in Prayer
O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by His blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Grant us, O Lord our God, ever to find in you a very present help in trouble. When we are in the darkness of doubt or perplexity, shed your light upon our way. When we are burdened with the affairs of our daily life, lift us to the calm of your presence. When we are battling with temptation and the flesh is weak, by the might of your Spirit make us strong to overcome. We ask these things through Him in whom we are more than conquerors, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Contributed by Rev Natalie Blake