Year 131° - May 2019

With the “Magnificat” in the heart

Fr. Livio Tonello, director

The month of May exhorts us to trustfully turn our eyes to Mary. We do so by saying the Rosary, the ancient and always up-to-date prayer which, when it does not consist in the mechanical repetition of traditional formula, is a Biblical meditation on the events of the Lord’s life in the company of the Blessed Virgin. Let us hold them in our heart as She did. By following her example the lamp of faith will ever more shine in our hearts and in our homes. May ends with the beautiful feast of the Visitation which could accompany us for the whole month. Luke, in his Gospel, described Mary’s journey from Nazareth to the home of her old cousin Elisabeth. Let us imagine the feelings of the Virgin after the Annunciation when the angel left her.

Mary found herself holding a great mystery in her womb. She was aware that something extraordinary and unique had happened. She realized that the last chapter of the history of the world salvation had started. But nothing around her had changed and the village of Nazareth was completely unaware of what had happened to her. She did not worry about herself but soon thought of her old cousin Elisabeth whom she knew was a few months pregnant and, driven by the mystery of love she had just welcomed in herself, she soon set out to give her help.

This is Mary’s simple and sublime greatness! When she reached Elisabeth’s house something so beautiful and deep happened that no artist will ever be able to express. The light of the Holy Spirit enveloped the two women. And Elisabeth, enlightened by Heaven exclaimed: “of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk 1, 42-45).

These words could appear to be out of proportion to the real situation. Elisabeth was one of the many old women of Israel and Mary an unknown girl from a secluded village in Galilee. What could they be and what could they do in a world in which other people and other powers counted? Yet, once again Mary astonished us. Her heart was limpid, totally open to the light of God; her soul without sin, not loaded with pride and egoism. Elisabeth’s words made her soul sing a hymn of praise which is an authentic “theological” reading of history: a reading which we have to continually learn how to practise by She whose faith was limpid and unimpaired. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord”.

Mary recognized the greatness of the Lord and this is the first essential feeling of faith, that which gives security to man and frees him from fear even in the storms of life. Besides Mary “saw” the work of God in history with the eyes of faith. This is the reason why she was blessed, because she believed: her faith made her welcome the Word of God and conceive the Word Incarnate. Her Magnificat, over the centuries, has remained the most genuine and deep interpretation of history unlike those by many scholars of this world which, in the course of centuries, have been proved to be wrong.

Let us spend this month with the Magnificat in our hearts. Let us join Mary and, like her, praise and thank the Lord, meekly put ourselves in the hands of Providence with faith and hope as she did and be like her an example of generosity in serving our brothers.

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