The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Emmanuel Menguito SVD — Christ the King Seminary, Quezon City
December 21 / Octave before Christmas
The Canticle of Mary or more popularly known as the Magnificat is considered as the earliest of Marian hymns. It is a beautiful song of praise about God’s greatness which Mary prayed or sung when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. We could just imagine the solemnity of such a meeting of two pregnant women, one carrying the Savior of the world, while the other carrying the one who is to prepare the way of the Savior.
If we look closely into the Magnificat, we can recognize three distinct parts. The first part tells of the saving acts of God in Mary’s life and thus, she sings of the great privilege given to her. Gratitude predominates this part. Are we thankful to God too, and what are we grateful for? We need not take much time to see his boundless gifts in our lives: the very life he has given us, the Christian faith in which we were born into, the family we belong to (not necessarily the best maybe but that is the context in which we have grown in), our health (I hope that you are taking care that you have a good one) and many, many others. Take time to reflect on God’s tremendous love to you personally, especially during this Christmas season.
The second part is the reality that God has constantly saved his people Israel. Time and time again, we read in the Old Testament how God saved and protected Israel from adversaries and conquerors. If ever Israel was defeated or conquered, it was because of the bad leaders they have or God wanted to teach them big, hard lessons. For us Filipinos, we can be proud of our Christian heritage, the gift of faith given to us as a nation, and for this we have to be grateful. How much we live such a faith as a nation and as individuals is indeed a daunting task. This is worth pondering upon too. No doubt, we are still a religious country. But does God play a prominent role in our everyday living?
The third part is the faithfulness of God to his promises. In St. Paul’s letter to Timothy (2Tim 2:13), St. Paul says, “…if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” The Magnificat is a great reminder for Israel of God’s faithfulness despite their breaking of the covenant in countless instances. He is the same faithful God to you and me. How about taking time to meditate on this reality of God’s faithfulness to us?