ASSUMPTION – August 15, 2012 – Rev. Emmett H. Carroll, S.J.
August 15, 2012
Rev. Emmett H. Carroll, S.J.
The Lord’s angel has appeared to Mary. She will become the mother of the long awaited savior. Now Mary travels from her home in Nazareth to aid her cousin Elizabeth who is expecting a birth.
Elizabeth feels the infant in her womb jump. Elizabeth sees Mary coming, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks:
Blessed are you; blessed are you among women; blessed are you for the child (the Lord) that you will bring forth; blessed are you because you believed the Lord’s message.
The “Magnificat” means “to magnify, to glorify.”
Mary, perhaps, sang this beautiful hymn; I imagine that the Blessed Virgin had a beautiful voice. She sang, because the hymn puts new words to a song from the Old Testament (I Samuel 5), and it incorporates references to scriptural events, and to Psalm-hymns. The “Magnificat” is a spiritual song, a hymn.
It praises God. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” Mary realizes that her understanding, her memory, her imagination, her mental faculties—all these make plain the presence of God who has created her. All her abilities make evident that God—not a rock or stone or passage of time—that God Creator has endowed her.
My spirit rejoices in God. Joy fills my heart, for I realize that my mental faculties are of God. Exuberance thrills me in my nearness to my donor, God.
My spirit rejoices in God, for the Lord has saved me from sin, from simply living, from a thousand worldly desires and false ways.
My spirit also rejoices in God, my savior. God has saved Mary individually—as an Israelite—from idolatry, paganism; such flourished in the tribes that at variously attacked Israel.
My spirit rejoices that God has done great things for me. It is true of the Blessed Virgin, and God has done great things for me and for you. God has given us religious faith; for example, in receiving the Eucharist, I emotionally react with our Lord. In Baptism, parents mentally and emotionally react with the dedication of the child to a Christian manner of living.
My spirit rejoices in God’s gifts whereby I understand a language, I recall incidents from past years; I imagine a new method or a new event.
Like Mary, we praise God for his gifts to me. And we recognize these as from God, not from ourselves.
In a dramatic anthropomorphism, God asserts power in his right arm; God reverses human status and perception: he scatters the arrogant, pulls down the mighty, and sends the rich away, empty. This God exalts the lowly, fills the hungry, and takes Israel by the hand.
Before God, we realize our need and recognize that our fiber is God’s creation. Intellectually, morally, psychologically, and physically, we rejoice in God from whom all blessings flow.