The Feast of St. Mary the Virgin

Today in the Episcopal Church is the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, mother of our Lord.

I call attention to the Magnificat, the song of praise on her lips as she greets her cousin Elizabeth as the two of them celebrate their pregnancies.

As you read again the Magnificat, read it for what it is: the statement of the theme of the mission and ministry of Jesus.

As you read this setting forth of the theme of Jesus' ministry, and by extension our ministry, what does it tell you about God's priorities?

Where do you think our church is with respect to the priorities set forth in Mary's song?

Looking at the world around us, who are the lowly who are lifted up?

This song gives warning to the proud; warning of the danger of conceit.   Where are we with respect to this warning?

This song gives no comfort to us who make riches our priority.  Where do we stand with respect to this warning?

This song holds forth promise.  What word in this song tells us what the promise is?

How do we stand with respect to this promise?  How might we become receptive to this promise?

Here's the Song of Mary as it appears in the Office of Morning Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer:

The Song of Mary    Magnificat 

Luke 1:46-55 

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
    for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. 
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
    the Almighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his Name. 
He has mercy on those who fear him *
    in every generation. 
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
    he has scattered the proud in their conceit. 
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
    and has lifted up the lowly. 
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
    and the rich he has sent away empty. 
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
    for he has remembered his promise of mercy, 
The promise he made to our fathers, *
    to Abraham and his children for ever.