My soul glorifies the Lord

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.

Luke 1:46-49

Although I will admit to liking the music of Leona Lewis, I can’t stand the X Factor. More than that, though, I cannot stand Big Brother. At least some of the people in X Factor have talent, even if the show itself is little more than a slick marketing operation for Simon Cowell and his products. The talent of people in Big Brother seems difficult to discern. It is, in my view, indicative of a society in which we worship celebrities – simply because they are celebrities, not because they have done anything of great note. Young people want to be famous – but famous for nothing, other than being famous. It seems a strange thing to aspire to to me!

Once again, in today’s reading we see the humility of the virgin Mary coming to the fore. But wait – is she having a Big Brother moment? She says that “from now on all generations will call me blessed!” Is she aspiring to fame? No, not at all. She realises that fame has come to her, but this fame is not because of anything that Mary has, or has not done. Mary’s fame comes about because God has done great things for her. Immediately after exclaiming this, she says not, “aren’t I fabulous!” but “holy is his name.” Mary understands that her good fortune has been brought about not because of who she is, but because of what God has done for her. It is for this reason that Mary exclaims, “my soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” She is quick to give all the credit for her special position in society to God. Mary cannot stop herself singing out in praise to God for the way that he has blessed her. She doesn’t just praise God with her words, but with every fibre of her being. Her soul and her spirit unite in praising the Lord!

Sometimes we can be tempted to think how marvellous we are, and how lucky the world is to have us. But just remember – it is God that has made us who we are. It is God that has blessed us. It is God who has given us our talents and skills. And it is God that controls our lives. Rather than taking the credit for our sheer brilliance, maybe we, like Mary, should turn our praise around, and give thanks to God. Perhaps, like Mary, we should thank God with every fibre of our being for blessing us so richly.

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