Tuesday and Wednesday Fourth Week Advent Mass Reflections - Mary's Magnificat

Mass readings for today can be found here
and for tomorrow, Wednesday from here.

The Gospel from Luke for today and tomorrow both relate the journey of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and the exuberant response of both of them to the news they have for each other; their shared joy at being pregnant, so the choice of music is the Taize chant of Magnificat.(Tomorrow's Gospel is the text of Mary's Magnificat)

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Trawling the internet brought me to this incisive and very challenging reflection on the revolutionary meaning of the MagnificatBelow is an edited extract :

 "Several commentaries used a single word to describe the Magnificant. They used the word, “revolutionary.”  Don’t be mesmerized by the music. Don’t be tranquilized by the loveliness of the language. Listen to the meaning of the words. Listen to the meaning of the words, and the Magnificat may begin a revolution in your life and mine.

In the Magnificat, God totally changes the order of things. God takes that which is on the bottom; and God turn everything upside down, and puts the bottom on top and the top on the bottom.  God revolutionizes the way we think, the way we act, and the way we live. 

Before God’s revolution, we human beings were impressed with money, power, status and education. We were impressed with beauty, bucks and brains. But God revolutionizes all of that; God totally changes all of that; God turns it upside down.  The poor are put on the top; the rich are put on the bottom. It is a revolution; God’s revolution. 

The Magnificat clearly tells us of God’s compassion for the economically poor; and when God’s Spirit gets inside of Christians, we too have a renewed compassion and action for the poor.  Our hearts are turned upside down.
Listen carefully to the words of the Magnificate. Not the poetry of the words, the beauty of the words, the loveliness of the words. Listen to the five important verbs. 

In the Magnificat, God tells us that God regards or respects the poor, exalts the poor, feeds the poor, helps the poor, remembers the poor. In that same chapter in Luke, we hear the story that God chose a slave girl, Mary, to be the mother of Jesus.

God chose a little thirteen year old girl from a fourth world country.

The Bible didn’t call her a handmaiden. The word, “handmaiden,” sounds so pretty. The Greek word is, “doulos,” which means slave or servant. Mary was a servant girl.  God exalted a servant girl from a fourth world country to be exalted and lifted up. And this servant girl sang her song and it is called the Song of Mary. The actual words of her song are revolutionary. The Song of Mary is a revolutionary bombshell because it turns the values of this world upside down.

In the Magnificat, God totally changes the values of life. We have agreed that this is what a revolution is: it totally changes things such as the computer or the cotton gin. In Christian language, before the revolution, we were impressed with the rich. 

After God’s revolution, we are impressed with the poor. Before God’s revolution, we are impressed with bucks and beauty.  After God’s revolution, we are impressed with paupers and poor people. 

The Magnificat is revolutionary stuff. Don’t get caught up in the poetry. Don’t get caught up in the music. Don’t get caught up in creative interpretations that allow you to water down or dismiss the Magnificat. 
Let the revolution begin in your life, and mine. This is God’s revolution in our hearts. God’s value is to respect the poor, exalt the poor, feed the poor...within our hearts and actions. "

Today's psalm asks us to give thanks to the Lord on harp.
Well, I don't think he would mind if I played something for his mother, because I didn't have that much time to search and because this version of Ave Maria is particularly good with the violin too.

Why am I defending myself here ... just play the music ....

Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.

R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.

R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust. 

Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.


Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth. 

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,

“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 

For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 

Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

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