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Bible reflection: 'The Almighty has done great things for me'

07 August 2019

Gospel Luke 1:39-56

‘The Almighty has done great things for me’

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.

Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’ 

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

Questions and reflections (from of Joy)

  1. Having heard Elizabeth’s good news from afar, Mary ventures a long distance to visit her cousin. When is the last time you shared good news with a relative or friend? What did you share?
  2. On seeing Mary, Elizabeth feels John leap for joy within her womb. Can you remember an experience where all that was within you leapt for joy?
  3. Mary’s visit is an extraordinary blessing for Elizabeth. Can you remember a time you experienced a powerfully uplifting visit from a friend?
  4. Mary and Elizabeth form an early Christian community even before their children are born. Who do you seek to build community with? daily reflection

The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary

Apocalypse 11:19; 12:1-6, 10. Psalm 44(45):10-12, 16. 1 Corinthians 15:20-26 Luke 1:39-56.

The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold – Psalm 44(45):10-12, 16.

‘The mighty one has done great things for me.’

On this Feast of the Assumption, it is fitting to reflect on Mary’s attitude to life. Unmarried and pregnant, she was able to praise her God. ‘The Mighty One has done great things for me’ was her response to this particular crisis in her life. It was not, ‘This is too much – I can’t take any more’, or some such sentiment.

Of course, we don’t know if Mary had any initial fears of what lay ahead. Whatever emotions she may have felt, she was still able to maintain a positive outlook.

In our own lives, there are always circumstances when we feel justified in displaying bitterness, crankiness or other negative attitudes.

If we reflect daily on our responses to events, then we can emulate Mary’s attitude. After all, we don’t have to do it alone – we have Mary walking with us. Let us call upon her guidance today.

Image: The Visitation, Wikipedia


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