Speak Lord: Loving God

IMG_6301 Magnificat in Chinese.jpg

My soul rejoices in my God.

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her nothingness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

My soul rejoices in my God.

The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear him.

My soul rejoices in my God.

He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy.

My soul rejoices in my God.

Responsorial Psalm for the Third Sunday of Advent
Luke 1:46-50,53-54

The Psalm at Mass tomorrow comes from the New Testament, and would be better termed a Gospel Canticle. However it fulfils the same function in the Liturgy of the Word as does the more usual Psalm: it puts on the lips of the congregation a song which is their response to and (usually) echo of the first reading.

Here Mary gives thanks to God for her particular situation, but it is a song that finds its place in the hearts and on the lips of all God’s children. Mary’s situation is an honoured (if challenging!) one – but each one of us is blessed by God, each one has their own reason for giving thanks.

He leads us to life.

Magnificat in Chinese, at Church of the Visitation. Ein Kerem, Israel. (c) 2012, Allen Morris.

 

Taste and See: Thanksgiving

Church of Visitation, Ein KeremIn England and Wales this year, Sunday 14th August was kept as the Solemnity of the Assumption, (in other years it is kept on 15th August).

The Gospel of the Mass of the Day was the Gospel of the Visitation. We hear of the meeting between Mary and her cousin, and the thanksgiving each offer in celebration of the graciousness of God.

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.

Luke 1:39-56

The song is a song of joy, and Elizabeth and Mary are both fully aware of the reasons they have for joy. And they give themselves fully over to joy and thanksgiving.

  • Do you rejoice easily?
  • For what?
  • When?
  • If you do not rejoice easily, why might that be?

Bring your thoughts and feelings to God in prayer.

Church of the Visitation, Ein Kerem. (c) 2012, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Your glory, our praise

ND du Roc-Amadour, BeziersThe Psalm for Mass tomorrow, the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, in many ways anticipates the song of thanksgiving of Mary, known as the Magnificat.

My soul, give praise to the Lord. or Alleluia!

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, who sets prisoners free,

My soul, give praise to the Lord. or Alleluia!

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger
and upholds the widow and orphan.

My soul, give praise to the Lord. or Alleluia!

It is the Lord who loves the just
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
Zion’s God, from age to age.

My soul, give praise to the Lord. or Alleluia!

Psalm 145:6-10

As we recognise the goodness of God we are prompted again and again to give thanks. As is said in one of the Prefaces to the Eucharistic Prayers, this adds nothing to the glory of God, but makes us grow in God’s grace.

Our Lady of Roc Amadour. Beziers. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: That we may give thanks

Detail Our Lady Salisbury

The Canticle (or New Testament ‘psalm’) that is the responsorial song after the first reading on Sunday comes from St Luke’s Gospel. On this third Sunday of Advent, Mary’s song, the Magnificat prepares us for the final stage of Advent, and for our own thanksgiving for God’s goodness to us.

My soul rejoices in my God.

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her nothingness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear him.

He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy.

My soul rejoices in my God.

Luke 1:46-50,53-54

  • What are the wonders of God for which you would like to give thanks?
  • Where do you see the justice of God being established? Where does it seem to be lacking?

Photograph is of detail from a figure of Mary, Mother of God, in the Lady Chapel, Salisbury Cathedral. (c) 2010, Allen Morris