Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Soul Magnifies The Lord

Today is the Visitation of Mary, a feast day on the Christian calendar. A few years ago, I didn't even know this day existed, having grown up Pentecostal and then belonging to a nondenominational church. Now that I'm part of the Anglican tradition, I'm quite enjoying little surprises like this.

Today's Gospel Reading in the Lectionary comes from Luke, chapter 1, also known as "The Magnificat". For many years,when I read through this passage, it was almost always in December as a lead up to Christmas. The power and beauty of Mary's song to God was reduced down to a cursory reading, and at times, an opportunity to (unfairly) chastise Catholics for "worshiping a creature, rather than her Creator".

It was during my pregnancy that I really contemplated on those verses.

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,  just as he promised our ancestors.”

One Sunday, towards the end of service, our pastor, Father Ros called me and K up before the congregation and prayed for us as a family, but especially for pregnant me. Laying hands on me, he used this passage as part of the prayer. It was in the following days that I sat and pondered how scary, amazing and wondrous it was for Mary to be carrying Jesus. An angel's appearance, her aged cousin's blessing, and a thankful praise to the Almighty! Such humility and faith.

It is that example of complete trust  in and willingness to serve God that is celebrated today. May we all glorify God, heart, body and soul.

Father Ros, pregnant me and K last May.


April Byrd said...

Great Post! I love this scripture a lot! When Elizabeth prophesies to Mary and just the rejoicing. I can just picture that moment being so powerful, and it touches my spirit deeply to rejoice.Great Post!

Bianca said...

Aw so cute pregnant you. May God bless your baby.

Alisha De Freitas said...

Thanks, April! There is so much joy here. No fear at such highly unusually pregnancies, just pure, thankful joy at God's moving.

Very powerful, indeed!

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