And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’ And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
There’s an oft-told tale about a little boy named Jamie. He was trying out for a spot in the school Christmas play. His heart was set on taking part in it, but his mother feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, she anxiously picked him up after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. “Guess what, Mom,” he shouted. “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.”
How many of us can share Jamie’s excitement? Perhaps we smile at his innocence and willingness to settle for “second best.” Has he, in fact, received “second best?” Perhaps, rather, he is a model for every admirer of what is wholesome and beautiful? A model who teaches us that responding to great art is as important as producing it.
When we listen to Mary’s Magnificat, we cannot help but join with her and all those who “clap and cheer” the wondrous works of God. We clap and cheer and glorify God for giving Jesus (and us) such a mother. This is gratitude in action – the role God invites us to play!
—Fr. Paul Faulstich, SJ spent many years in India and is now doing pastoral ministry at Loyola University in Chicago.
O Ruler of all nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the might arch of humankind: Come and save the creatures you have fashioned from the dust!