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The Magnificat

Luke 1:46-55 (VOICE)
My soul lifts up the Lord!

My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator!
For though I’m God’s humble servant,
        God has noticed me.
    Now and forever,
        I will be considered blessed by all generations.
For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
        holy is God’s name!
From generation to generation,
        God’s lovingkindness endures
        for those who revere Him.

God’s arm has accomplished mighty deeds.
        The proud in mind and heart,
        God has sent away in disarray.
 The rulers from their high positions of power,
        God has brought down low.
    And those who were humble and lowly,
        God has elevated with dignity.
The hungry—God has filled with fine food.
        The rich—God has dismissed with nothing in their hands.
To Israel, God’s servant,
        God has given help,
As promised to our ancestors,
        remembering Abraham and his descendants in mercy forever.

The song of Mary is a powerful one. Also referred to as the magnificat, meaning an utterance of praise. Mary has been told she is carrying the Son of God. A truly terrifying thought for a virgin and coming from an angel. Her response is one of humility and acceptance. She hurries off to her cousin Elizabeth’s who is also pregnant with John the Baptist. This meeting is one of great joy. Hugging, crying, laughter, even John joins in the joy. Elizabeth’s joy for Mary is evident and makes space for Mary to be joyful about a very scary prospect as well. She then sings this song of joy and hope as she understands what an incredible responsibility she has been gifted.

Joy is a gift that goes far beyond circumstance. It exists outside of what we can comprehend sometimes. Even in an overwhelming and potentially dangerous circumstance, Mary dances with joy as she praises God for what he has done and what he will do. Joy requires us to broaden our view. To look from another perspective. To trust that the ever-present, never-failing presence of Jesus is there.

Lectio Divina Practice
As you walk through the Lectio Divina today, read the scripture above and meditate on it, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal himself to you.

  1. Silencio: Come into God’s presence. Quietly prepare your heart to meet with and hear from Him.  Slow down, relax, release the noisy thoughts that crowd your mind over to him.

  2. Lectio: Read the scripture above slowly and out loud, let words resonate with you. Be aware of words that stick out to you. When a word or phrase grabs your attention, stop reading. Sit with it. Open your hearts to what God is saying to you. Underline the phrase, make notes of what you’re hearing. Don’t analyze it or judge it. Listen and wait.

  3. Meditatio: Meditate. Read the Scripture a second time out loud. Savor the words. Listen for any invitation that God is extending to you in this word. Reflect on the importance of the words that light up to you.

  4. Oratio: Respond, pray. Read the Scripture a third time. Now is the moment to enter into a personal conversation with God. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The important thing is to respond truthfully and authentically. What feelings has the text brought about in you? Talk about where you are feeling resistant or want to push back, and of where you feel invited into a deeper way of being with God.

  5. Contemplatio: Contemplate, rest and wait in the presence of God. Allow some time for the word to sink deeply into your soul. Yield and surrender yourself to God. Before you leave, you might consider a reminder that can help you dwell on this word throughout the day.

Family Moments
Read Luke 1:46-49 together. Together talk about Mary must have felt when she found out she was going to have a baby that was God’s son! Talk about how even though she was probably feeling a lot of things (scared, nervous, confused) the Bible tells us she was also feeling joy! Talk together about how we can have joy in Jesus even when what is happening around us can feel confusing or sad.  God’s joy is everlasting!