“From this day all generations will call me blessed: The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name” – Luke 1:48
In today’s Gospel reading we find the pregnant Virgin Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. So moved by her shared experience of grace with her cousin, Mary breaks out into song, proclaiming the goodness of the Lord. In this passage, Mary sings what would become the Magnificat, Latin for “magnifying” the Lord. Mary’s song speaks of the greatness of God’s mercy and God’s promised protection to those most in need. Mary also speaks about how God will remove the powerful, scatter the proud, and send away the rich. At first glance, it appears that Mary proclaims that only those who suffer will know God’s love, and those who are privileged will be punished. In my experience of faith, however, I believe that God’s love is to be given to each of us in the way that we need. Sometimes this gift comes as an addition to our life, and other times it comes out of subtraction. Despite the approach, a transformation of the spirit occurs.
As I look back on my relationship with Jesus, I have never felt closer to Him than when I had nothing, was lonely, or suffered great humiliation. In moments of great pain and embarrassment, I have found God patiently waiting for me there. These painful experiences simplified my life and allowed me to become more dependent on God. I do not believe that Jesus planned to intentionally inflict pain so that I would return my focus to Him. Rather, I believe that God was always there waiting for me. All I had to do was notice and magnify God’s presence in my life. As ministers and scholars of Christianity have previously pointed out: God loves us for who we are but does not leave us as we are. When we allow ourselves to become more dependent on God, we magnify our humanity and our inherent divinity.
God of compassion and understanding, lift us and invite us to grow in our dependence on You.
Dr. Ben Horgan
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