Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Expectations of the child

I often wonder if anyone today actually understands Jesus.

Certainly, few out of my tradition seem to comprehend what his mother expected of him as she carried him to birth.

Mary's song, often referred to as The Magnificat, anticipates a very different sort of Savior than the one celebrated in many churches on this day.

Her lyrics arise from a strongly prophetic tradition. Her words reveal that the baby she will bring into the world will be a warrior for the poor, a strong advocate for the oppressed, a major source of inspiration for the marginalized.

On this Christmas day may we recover Mary's vision and understanding of the Christ-child:

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God
my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on
the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all
generations will call
me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done
great things for me,
and holy is his name.

His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with
his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the
thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the
powerful from their
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with
good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made
to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his
descendants forever."

The Gospel According to St. Luke 1:46-55 (NRSV)


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