In today’s first reading from 1 Samuel 1, we see Hannah giving up her only son to the service of the Lord. Eli, the priest, had prayed that Hannah might be granted the desire of her heart, a son. After Samuel was born, she gave him to Eli to be brought up to serve the Lord. Samuel became a great leader and eventually anointed David. The Gospel reading for today is from Luke 1 – the Magnificat of Mary.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” These word begin the Magnificat. If you’re not familiar with it, please read today’s Gospel. I find it interesting that many non-Catholic Christians have a real problem with Mary. Now, don’t get me wrong; I can understand their difficulties with some Catholics’ strong devotion to Mary. After all, I was once there. But because of their misconceptions, they allow their negative feelings to carry over to Mary herself. This is a tragedy. Mary should be an example for all Christians.
Take the Magnificat, for example. Aside from the prophecy, “from this day all generations will call me blessed,” (by the way, does any other Church fulfill this prophecy more than the Catholic and Orthodox?), we should all echo the words of the Magnificat always. It is an awesome prayer that does nothing more than point to God’s greatness. My wife and I, and all members of Teams of Our Lady, recite the Magnificat daily. It reminds us each day of our smallness, God’s greatness, and the humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Father, we, too, rejoice in You, our Savior. May we always remind others that You are the reason for our hope. Amen.