It is May, the month of mothers and Mary. This weekend I am sharing reflections of Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat, with a small group of women at a retreat house in NH
The many translations and interpretations of the Magnificat can really break open and expand the depth, scope, and meaning of this beautiful prayer that is sung, chanted, or read every evening in the liturgy of the hours.
Sometimes it can fall into the category of a “pretty” hymn or song, inspiring music without regard for the words; sometimes it can become routine words without reflection. It can become so familiar that we stop hearing the prayer, the blessings, the challenge, the grace, and the mercy witnessed to and passed on in its context and text.
I invite you to take some time today to sit with these rich words placed in the mouth of Mary in the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55). Note how they tell the story of our salvation history; compare this translation to others you know or have seen or to interpretations you have heard in song. Reflect on God’s goodness to you, your humble state, God’s repeated acts of mercy throughout time, the justice of God as revealed through Jesus Christ and the covenant renewed of God’s presence and mercy to be with us always.
My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me —
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.
(New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan House, 1984. Print.)
Sr. Kelly Connors, pm, teaches Canon Law for Saint Joseph’s College Online.