And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (NIV)
With these words Mary begins what has come to be known as the Magnificat, a praising of God so glorious that it has been set to music throughout the ages and has found its way into the ranks of the greatest choral music. Yet Mary did not come up with these words of praise on her own. The words themselves and the themes of her praise are drawn from the words of Scripture.
“The Magnificat – a portrait, so to speak, of her soul – is entirely woven from threads of Holy Scripture, threads drawn from the word of God. Here we see how completely at home Mary is with the word of God, with ease she moves in and out of it. She speaks and thinks with the word of God; the word of God becomes her word, and her word issues from the word of God. Here we see how her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God, how her will is one with the will of God. Since Mary is completely imbued with the word of God, she is able to become the Mother of the Word Incarnate”.
So wrote Pope Benedict XVI. As we move into Advent, the season that looks forward to the celebration of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus, it is natural that we desire to bring the best offerings of praise to God. Yet He Himself has already given us the greatest praise songs in the Psalms and other songs and poems of Scripture. Does that written word of God live in our hearts as it lived in the heart of Mary? Do the words of Scripture come to our lips with the immediacy they came to hers? During Advent, when the rush of year-end and holiday activities press all around, spend even more time in the words of God. Let them sink into your heart and become your flesh. Let them issue forth from your lips in the greatest praise for our Lord, Who deserves the best.
Lord, plant Your word deeper into my heart where it may grow into great hymns of praise. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. Amen.
Copyright © 2010 by Steven R. Perkins