“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. He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation. He has shown the strength of His arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly’” – Luke 1:46-49

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke echoes the feast of the visitation. Mary has just said her “yes” to become the mother of the Savior, learns of her cousin Elizabeth’s late-in- life pregnancy and journeys to help her. In the Magnificat, Mary expresses her gratitude for all she has received including the insights she has gained about how God is present and works in our world.

I was touched by an reflection on this scripture reading by America Media writer Molly Cahill, who said “Mary reminds us that God‘s heart is close to those the world might least expect.” And “her strong language about casting down the powerful suggests that God’s power will bring justice to the oppressed not just after death but also in the here and now.”

As I reflect on this perspective, I am confronted with the challenge of seeking God in unexpected places and finding ways to promote justice is a world that continues to ignore those so desperately in need of it. Mary’s Magnificat is indeed our song and a rallying cry to all who follow Christ.

Our Fundamental Principles too, urges us to respond to:

“God’s desire to manifest God’s care and compassionate love

to those who are separated and estranged,

not only from their neighbors,

but also from their own uniqueness;

those who suffer want, neglect and injustice:

the poor, the weak and the oppressed of this world

Let us pray the Magnificat with Mary in gratitude for all God has given us and try, like her, to respond to God’s call with a generous heart. Amen.

Brother Paul Murray, C.F.X.

To view the full Advent 2021 booklet in English, click here.

For Spanish, click here.

For French, click here.

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