Mary’s reaction to Elizabeth’s greeting and high praises was an explosion of unrestrainable joy and gratitude to the Lord. In the exuberance of her teens, she expressed in vibrant words the deep feeling that had been bubbling in her heart since the moment she had received God’s message through the archangel Gabriel.
Humble to the marrow, Mary knew and proclaimed that all she had and was were gifts from the Most High. Joyfully grateful in her humility, she thanked her Lord and Savior for the “great things” that He had done for her, with expressions that reveal the features of the God in whom she believes. She magnifies the God who is merciful toward those who revere Him, lifts up the lowly, and fills the hungry with good things.
The God of Mary is a strong and just God. He is not intimidated by the arrogant, the rich, the powerful, or the famous. He has no time for them, but He calls them to account for the sufferings they inflict on all those who are weak and defenseless.
Such is the God of Mary. Such is the God who will be portrayed by her Son Jesus in the “Beatitudes” and throughout his life.
Mary had very good reasons to be so full of admiration, praises, and gratitude for God. He preserved her from the devastation of original sin; He has chosen her to be the Virgin Mother of His only eternal Son. God has, indeed, done for this daughter of Israel, greater wonders than He has done for any other human creature, save Her own Son. No wonder all generations will call Her “Blessed.”
And what about us? We definitely have not been conceived and born without original sin. But the Lord has done great things for us, too: our very existence, our intelligence and our memory, our affectivity and especially the call to live for ever in communion with our Creator, Redeemer and Friend; the gifts of faith, hope and charity; the gifts of the Church, Revelation and the Sacraments; the gifts of solidarity, friendship and pure joy.
These are the gifts we share with Mary Most Holy. Rather than focusing on the few that she alone has received, we should focus on the thousands we share with her. The list could be almost endless. Noble hearts know how to count them and be grateful for them.
This will spontaneously bring us to make our own Mary’s hymn of thanksgiving – the one we call “Magnificat.” The only thing we could leave out is the sentence, “From this day all generations will call me blessed.” This seems to fit only her.
On second thought, however, even this sentence can be retained, if we do our best to faithfully live the Gospel given us by Jesus. Those who have done so will be “Blessed” by the Divine King Himself as He will invite them to take possession of the Kingdom prepared for them by God’s love since the foundation of the world. (See Mt 25:34.)
JESS P. BALON