A Reflection on the Magnificat

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Published on December 18, 2008

Author: arulforyou

Source: authorstream.com

through the looking glass : through the looking glass A reflection on: the Magnificat The basic teaching of the catholic faith February 20, 2007 Slide 2: My soul magnifies the Lord,And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.He has shown strength with His arm:He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.He has put down the mighty from their thrones,and exalted those of low degree.He has filled the hungry with good things;and the rich He has sent empty away.He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen Scripture text: Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,et exsultávit spíritus meusin Deo salvatóre meo,quia respéxit humilitátemancíllæ suæ. Ecce enim ex hoc beátamme dicent omnes generatiónes,quia fecit mihi magna,qui potens est,et sanctum nomen eius,et misericórdia eius in progénieset progénies timéntibus eum.Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;depósuit poténtes de sedeet exaltávit húmiles.Esuriéntes implévit boniset dívites dimísit inánes.Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,recordátus misericórdiæ,sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula. Glória Patri et Fílioet Spirítui Sancto.Sicut erat in princípio,et nunc et semper,et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen. Slide 3: The word Magnificat, the Latin version of a Greek word with the same meaning, celebrates the greatness of God, who reveals his omnipotence through the angel’s message, surpassing the expectations and hopes of the people of the Covenant, and even the noblest aspirations of the human soul. Slide 4: The Magnificat [Latin: magnifies], also called the Canticle of Mary, is recorded in the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55). It is the Virgin Mary's joyous prayer in response to her cousin Elizabeth's greeting (Luke 1: 41-45). This great hymn forms part of the Church's prayer in the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours). When it is recited as part of the Divine Office, it is followed by the Gloria Patri ("Glory be"). The traditional sung Magnificat is Latin plainchant. One of the hymn's most glorious musical renditions is the version of the Magnificat by J.S. Bach http://www.wf-f.org/Magnifi.html Catechism of the catholic church : Catechism of the catholic church Mary's prayer is revealed to us at the dawning of the fullness of time. Before the Incarnation of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, her prayer cooperates in a unique way with the Father's plan of loving kindness: at the Annunciation, for Christ's conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the Church, His Body. In the faith of His humble handmaid, the Gift of God found the acceptance He had awaited from the beginning of time. She whom the Almighty made "full of grace" responds by offering her whole being: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to Thy word". "Fiat": this is Christian prayer: to be wholly Gods' because He is wholly ours. [CCC 2617] Slide 6: 15. At the Visitation, Mary’s song (Magnificat) mirrors the song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10), broadening its scope so that Mary becomes the one who speaks for all the poor and oppressed who long for God’s reign of justice to be established. Just as in Elizabeth’s salutation the mother receives a blessing of her own, distinct from that of her child (1:42), so also in the Magnificat Mary predicts that “all generations will call me blessed” (1:48). This text provides the scriptural basis for an appropriate devotion to Mary, though never in separation from her role as mother of the Messiah. . Slide 7: 66. Aware of the distinctive place of Mary in the history of salvation, Christians have given her a special place in their liturgical and private prayer, praising God for what He has done in and through her. In singing the Magnificat, they praise God with her; in the Eucharist, they pray with her as they do with all God’s people, integrating their prayers in the great communion of saints. They recognize Mary’s place in “the prayer of all the saints” that is being uttered before the throne of God in the heavenly liturgy (Revelation 8:3-4). All these ways of including Mary in praise and prayer belong to our common heritage, as does our acknowledgement of her unique status as Theotókos, which gives her a distinctive place within the communion of saints. (Theotokos - Mother of God) http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/angl-comm-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20050516_mary-grace-hope-christ_en.html A song of praise : A song of praise Mary becomes filled with the Holy Spirit and Sacred Scripture after the greeting from Elizabeth. It is with this fullness that the ‘Magnificat’ focuses on five attributes of God: GOD IS MIGHTY 2. GOD IS HOLY 3. GOD IS A JUDGE GOD IS MERCIFUL 5. GOD IS A COVENANT GOD 1. GOD IS MIGHTY : 1. GOD IS MIGHTY What are the "great things" that the Almighty accomplished in Mary? The expression recurs in the Old Testament to indicate the deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt or Babylon. In the Magnificat, it refers to the mysterious event of Jesus' virginal conception, which occurred in Nazareth after the angel's announcement. 1. GOD IS MIGHTY : 1. GOD IS MIGHTY Reaching as far back as Genesis we see the mighty acts preformed God. “He alone is almighty, and Mary knew it.” Mary is humble and acknowledges her lowliness yet comes to full realization that ‘nothing is impossible for God’ and she is unafraid. She puts her trust and faith in Him as she has always done, she was taught to do. We, too are weak and understand that He is strong and mighty and it is in Him that we are to trust. Unfortunately, because of our weakness, we do not always lean on God as we should. There are times when we actually doubt His strength! These are precisely the times when we should think of the Magnificat and remember Mary’s trust and how clearly she could see and feel the strength of God. 2. God is holy : 2. God is holy Throughout the Scriptures God tells us, "Be ye holy, for I am holy." God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. He is the One separate from us—the One without sin. Isaiah writes this of God: "For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place’" (Isaiah 57:15). God is not like us. He is just, and therefore he must deal with all evil, and the wages of sin is death eternal. The Bible tells us the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Because God is holy, there is judgment and hell. 3. God is a judge : 3. God is a judge With her wise reading of history, Mary leads us to discover the criteria of God's mysterious action. Overturning the judgements of the world, he comes to the aid of the poor and lowly, to the detriment of the rich and powerful, and in a surprising way he fills with good things the humble who entrust their lives to him (cf. Redemptoris Mater, n. 37). 3. God is a judge : 3. God is a judge Jesus Christ is the Judge who scatters the arrogant and pulls down the mighty ones from their thrones. He reverses all sinful social order, sending the rich empty away and condemning those who are self-righteous. This righteous Judge came to seek, not the righteous, but sinners. Remember the rich young ruler? He came to Jesus Christ because he wanted to inherit eternal life, and the Lord Jesus Christ counseled him to sell his possessions and follow Christ. This young man refused to submit to the counsel of God, and we are told he went away sad. Jesus Christ is good news to the humble but he is bad news to the arrogant, the mighty, and the rich. To them he is the righteous Judge. 4. God Is merciful : 4. God Is merciful In the Magnificat, a truly theological song because it reveals the experience Mary had of God's looking upon her, God is not only the Almighty to whom nothing is impossible, as Gabriel had declared (cf. Lk 1:37), but also the Merciful, capable of tenderness and fidelity towards every human being. 4. God Is merciful : 4. God Is merciful With Mary, may the Christian community experience the joy of the Resurrection, making their own the words of the Magnificat which extol the inexhaustible gift of divine mercy in the inexorable flow of time: "His mercy is from age to age upon those who fear him" (Lk 1:50). From Sunday to Sunday, the pilgrim people follow in the footsteps of Mary, and her maternal intercession gives special power and fervour to the prayer which rises from the Church to the Most Holy Trinity. 5. God is a covenant god : 5. God is a covenant god We must realize that God does not have to enter into a covenant with sinful man. It is not necessary for God to promise salvation to anybody. But the truth is, God did just that. He entered into a covenant with Abraham, promising to show mercy to him and his descendants by granting them salvation. Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing the fulfillment of the covenant God had made to him, and it was fulfilled in the Son God promised to Mary. Filled with divine gifts, Mary does not limit her vision to her own personal case, but realizes how these gifts show forth God's mercy towards all his people. In her, God fulfils his promises with a superabundance of fidelity and generosity. Slide 17: That is why the Canticle of Mary,[91] the Magnificat (Latin) or Megalynei (Byzantine) is the song both of the Mother of God and of the Church; the song of the Daughter of Zion and of the new People of God; the song of thanksgiving for the fullness of graces poured out in the economy of salvation and the song of the "poor" whose hope is met by the fulfillment of the promises made to our ancestors, "to Abraham and to his posterity for ever." - CCC 2619 http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/pray2.html#FULLNESS http://www.gracevalley.org/sermon_trans/2000/Marys_Magnificat.html http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2bvm35.htm Slide 18: The Magnificat itself is full of great images, images of radical social justice. This hymn is about our radical freedom as daughters and sons of God, out of which He choose one to turn the world and history upside down. Justicefor foreigners & immigrants: : Justicefor foreigners & immigrants: CCC - 2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens. Justicefor foreigners & immigrants: : Justicefor foreigners & immigrants: CCC - 2433 Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants.218 For its part society should, according to circumstances, help citizens find work and employment.219 LIVING WAGE & JUST WAGE : LIVING WAGE & JUST WAGE CCC - 2428 In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work.213 Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community. LIVING WAGE & JUST WAGE : LIVING WAGE & JUST WAGE CCC - 2434 A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice.220 In determining fair pay both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account. "Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the business, and the common good."221 Agreement between the parties is not sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages. Justice for the poor : Justice for the poor 2445 Love for the poor is incompatible with immoderate love of riches or their selfish use: Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you.237 Justice for the poor : Justice for the poor 2446 St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs."238 "The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity":239 When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.240 The death penalty : The death penalty CCC - 2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, nonlethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. The death penalty : The death penalty Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.NT Just war : Just war CCC - 2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time: - the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain; - all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; - there must be serious prospects of success; - the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good. What is a theological reflection? : What is a theological reflection? The most important thing to remember is that theological reflection refers to ‘learning from one’s experience.’ Theological reflection deals with one’s own experience. Obviously with the Magnificat we concentrated upon the experience of ministry. Theological reflection is a method to help people learn from their own experience. The method consists of experience, reflection, and action. Slide 30: This all may seem daunting to do alone. That is why theological reflection can be done within a group. A group can help a person grasp the events of ministry more completely; analyze them, see patterns, find meanings, draw conclusions, and remain honest. What makes a theological reflection theological? : What makes a theological reflection theological? To keep it simple ? GOD. Theological reflection helps a person to discover God’s presence in that person’s experience. It is not just “learning about God”, but actually being led to encounter God more directly. A theological reflection asks the person to consider what difference God’s presence makes (this is known as the reflection stage) and what God expects as a result (this is known as the action stage). This combination is what ultimately makes theological reflection theological. Basic steps : Basic steps Selecting an Experience Describing an Experience Entering an Experience Learning from an Experience Enacting the Learning What is the goal? : What is the goal? There is no opposition between experience and reflection, faith and works, personal conviction and official doctrine. The goal of theological refection is to integrate these pairs rather than divide them. When all is integrated, theological reflection strengthens the practice of ministry by grounding it in its own theology while bringing theology alive by revealing it in its practical setting, In this respect theological reflection is being faithful to the very origins of Christianity. - Kinast, Robert L.; Let Ministry Teach: A Guide to Theological Reflection; intro.

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