Thursday, August 15, 2013

FEAST OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN

Grotto in honor of Mary on Bayou Lafourche in Thibodaux, Louisiana

O God, who have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Luke 1:46-55

 And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
   and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour 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 thrones,
   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 for ever.’

The Magnificat is one of my favorite prayers.  The words glorify God and remind us that the Kingdom of God turns the power structures of the kingdoms of this world upside down.

In today's Morning Prayer at The Daily Office, the Gospel reading for the feast day is the account in John of the wedding at Cana at which Jesus and Mary are both present.  During the course of the celebration, the wine runs out, and Mary tells Jesus, expecting that he will remedy the situation.  Jesus, though he is reluctant and impatient, honors the request of his mother after Mary tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”   He turns water into wine, the finest of wine, 

The instructions to the servants are Mary's final words in the Scriptures, words which all Christians might do well to live by, to do as Jesus tells us to do.  In her words, Mary directs attention to Jesus, and we honor Mary best when we remember that she always points to Jesus. 

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