Today we celebrate the feast of Mary’s Assumption into heaven, and I can just picture Mary running to embrace her loving son again! How blessed she is! And we come upon that word, blessed, four more times in the reading from Luke’s Gospel today (1:39-56)..
Elizabeth says Mary is “blessed among women” and that the baby in Mary’s womb is “blessed.” She points out also that Mary is “blessed” because she believes in the fulfillment of the Lord’s words to her.
Then Mary acknowledges that she will be called “blessed” by all generations henceforth. The whole room is filled with joy and gratitude for God’s blessings! Can you remember a time you were so joyful?
Let’s look at Mary’s beautiful “Magnificat” and pick out the blessings mentioned in the poetic prayer. Right away, we consider God’s abundant mercy for those who obey and acknowledge Him. We are reminded of God’s strength which he uses to lift up the lowly and to fill the hungry. By his actions, he directs us. He keeps his promises, so He teaches us about faithfulness. We remember the importance of humility and of what it really means to be “rich.” God is a very loving Father and his name is truly holy and should be revered as “holy.”
We can almost feel the leaping of John the Baptist in Elizabeth’s womb. Mary’s spirit, she says, is rejoicing. Perhaps we can remember when we have felt our spirits rejoicing. We know we have been blessed over and over. We can prayerfully savor those blessings and share our joyful gratitude without necessarily writing such lovely poetry. It is a good idea, though, to acknowledge God’s goodness and generosity. While not bragging to others, we certainly can share how blessed we are and point out others’ blessings as well. It is so easy to complain. How much better to proclaim the greatness of the Lord! (v. 46)
Let us add our own personal memories in the following prayer of thanks:
Dear Loving Father, I trust in your unending mercy. Forgive me for ( )
and for times I have wavered in my faithfulness.
Thank you for giving me hope.
Lord of Strength, I trust you will lead me to new blessings, as you show me how
to help ( ) and others who may need assistance.
Ever-present Lord, show me how to keep loving promises to ( ) and others.
Give me perseverance and belief in the talents you have given me.
Lord, give me gentle reminders to be humble and to be aware of what is truly
valuable and important, especially in the areas of ( ).
You know me and I am so glad You do!
Your name is holy. Thank you for your beautiful name. May I use your name only in a loving way.
Your oh so blessed follower,
Painting: "Visitation" by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674). Museo de Arte e Historia de Ginebra. Public domain.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.