The words of today's Gospel passage, commonly known as the Magnificat, are prayed every single day by Catholic priests, religious, and some lay people in the Liturgy of the Hours. These are words to unite people each day.
Mary had a heavy cross to bear. When she prayed her Magnificat, she didn't know if Joseph would receive her or reject her. She could have said, "My cross is heavy, my future unsure, and I'm scared." However, she focused on the Lord, rejoiced in Him, and praised Him and the great works He was doing, saying with her Old Testament matriarch Hannah: "My heart exults in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God" (1 Sm 2:1).
By fixing our eyes on the world and its gift-giving and receiving, we magnify the world's Christmas. Instead, let us approach Christmas as Mary did: by praising and magnifying God. When we magnify the Lord, it is as if we look closely at Him as though looking through a magnifying glass. God becomes ever larger in our sight. We cannot help but be overwhelmed by His greatness and splendor. We thereby fix our eyes on Him (Heb 3:1), forget ourselves, and are lifted up.
With Mary, rejoice in Jesus and "be ready to greet Him when He comes" this Christmas.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.