The Magnificat is a song of praise. But more than that, this part of Luke’s Gospel tells of many miracles and a life of faith and service.
Also known as the Canticle of Mary, it forms part of a collection of scripture readings, hymns and psalms known as the prayer of the church. According to ourcatholicprayers.com, priests and nuns are required to pray parts of it everyday.
Those who go to dawn Masses will notice that in the past few days, readings and sermons are about Mother Mary’s obedience and service. One of the priests spoke of how difficult it could have been for Mary to accept the responsibility, especially at a time when adultery was punishable by death.
Making a Connection
I was waiting for one of the priests to somehow make a connection between the Magnificat and how women are viewed by society. I was hoping to hear one of them say that Mother Mary’s life of obedience and service is so much like the lives today’s women lead and that those who are grateful for what she has done could show that gratitude to the women around them—their mothers, sisters, wives, aunts, friends and even daughters.
I thought that somehow, despite affirming the ban on the ordination of women, Pope Francis’ expression of gratitude to women leading consecrated lives would inspire the priests who deal with “ordinary” women on a daily basis, those who live among and serve the poorest of the poor would think of speaking against abuses committed against women. I heard none of that.
Hopefully though, by expressing my own thoughts, I could make the connection I sought. Mary’s great faith, humility and willingness to serve continue to reap great rewards and to this day, she has the respect of devotees. If only we (especially the men) see the “potential Mary” in the women we deal with, perhaps we can avoid whatever contributes to the abuse of women.
We Filipinas tolerate (some may even have accepted) the multiple burdens imposed on us by social practices acquired from other cultures. Yet, we persevere, and stand firm amid life’s challenges—often relying on our faith and the little miracles we witness in our own lives to give strength to our loved ones.
As we celebrate Christmas, let us also celebrate the roles women play in making things happen! Merry Christmas, everyone!
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.