WORD Becoming, Spiritual Reflections By Fr Roderick Salazar Jr, SVD (Philippines)
MAGNIFICENT is an English word with Latin roots:
facere: to make and magna: great.
To magnify is to enlarge or to make great.
When Mary sang, “My soul proclaims the greatness
of the Lord”, her song is calledMAGNIFICAT.
In 1960, a great Western film was made that starred
Yul Bryner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and others.
The Magnificent Seven was the title.
In a playful, but also prayerful mood, today let
us put together other Magnificent Sevens.
By themselves, they may not be connected,
and they don’t really have to be.
But it may be worthwhile to see them together.
God the Father has Seven Days of Creation.
Jesus has His Seven Last Words.
There are Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Mary has her Seven Sorrows.
Seven is considered the number of completeness.
The Seven Days of Creation are in Genesis.
The Seven Last Words are in the Four Gospels.
The Seven Gifts of the Spirit, Isaiah 11, 1-2 mentions.
The Seven Sorrows of Mary are in the Gospels.
Genesis narrates that in the beginning,
the world was yet without form, and empty.
And God said, “Let there be light!”.
And there was light. The First Day.
The First Word of Jesus from the Cross is Father,
forgive them or they do not know what they are doing.”
The First Gift of the Holy Spirit is WISDOM.
The First Sorrow of Mary is Simeon’s prophecy
that a sword would pierce her heart. Luke 2, 34,35.
On the Second Day of Creation, God created SKY,
the dome separating water above it and below it.
The Second Word of Jesus is “Today, you will be with Me
in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
UNDERSTANDING is the Second Gift of the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s Second Sorrow is the Flight into Egypt. Matt.2,13-14
On the Third Day of Creation came the earth, sea, vegetation.
The Third Word of Jesus is “Woman, behold your Son.
Behold your Mother.” John 19, 26-27.
The Third Gift of the Holy Spirit is COUNSEL.
Mary’s Third Sorrow is the Loss of Jesus. Luke 2, 43-45.
On the Fourth Day of Creation came the sun, moon, stars.
Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34.
FORTITUDE is the Fourth Gift of the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s Fourth Sorrow is meeting Jesus carrying
His Cross to Calvary. Luke 23:27
On the Fifth Day of Creation, air and sea creatures came to be.
Jesus said, “I thirst.” John 19:28
KNOWLEDGE is the Fifth Gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Fifth Sorrow of Mary is the Crucifixion of Jesus.
On the Sixth Day of Creation came the creatures on land,
and God said, “Let us make human beings in our image,
after our likeness…” And God created humankind in His
image, MALE and FEMALE He created them.”
From the Cross Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED” John 19:30
The Sixth Gift of the Holy Spirit is PIETY.
Mary’s Sixth Sorrow is Jesus being taken down from the Cross.
On the Seventh Day, God rested. God blessed the Seventh Day
and made it HOLY, because on it HE RESTED from all the work
He had done in creation.
And Jesus said, “Father, into Your Hands I commend My Spirit.”
FEAR OF THE LORD is the Seventh Gift of the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s Seventh Sorrow is Jesus taken to His tomb. Luke 23:55-56
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.
Clearly, they are not all GRAND in beauty, comfort, or joy.
The Creation Story may be so. As the Gifts of the Spirit.
But in the Last Words of Jesus and in the Sorrows of Mary
the Magnificence is in the depth of the love within each pain.
Can the dots of the Magnificent Seven be connected?
I do not know. I cannot say.
I just thought it may be worth our while to see them all.
Maybe seeing them, reading them is an invitation to prayer;
to delve a little deeper into our own lives which are always
a mix of beauty and ugliness, sin and holiness, dawn and dusk,
darkness and light, pain and the hope of a better day
to glean, by the grace of the Spirit, from the words of Jesus
and the sorrows of Mary something that will take us to a
New Creation of our selves, a New Creation of our world.
May God you with DISCOMFORT at easy answers,
half-truths, and superficial relationships so that
you may live deep within your hearts.
May God BLESS you with ANGER at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may work for
justice, freedom, and peace.
May God BLESS you with TEARS to shed for those who
suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that you may
reach out your heart and hand to comfort them
and turn their pain into joy.
And may God BLESS you with enough FOOLISHNESS
to believe that you can make a difference in the world
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done
to bring justice and kindness to all children and the poor.
Whatever you do ….. remember?
God loves you. In my own little way, I also do.
So, SMILE. A BIG one. Now. God is smiling. Too.