Thursday, May 31, 2007

Holy is His Name

Mary merely stated the obvious, but we have quoted her ever since. A favorite verse to put on cards to hand out at ordinations is "the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name." (Luke 1:49) I had this engraved on napkins for use at the reception after my ordination as priest.

Today we celebrate the feast of "The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary" which commemorates Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after Mary found out she would give birth to Jesus. At that time Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptizer. In this story in Luke's gospel we have the only recorded incident in which John the Baptizer behaved in a happy way, and he wasn't even born. Scripture records that when Mary appeared on the scene, Elizabeth's baby John "leaped in her womb."

Mary was also happy then, and here from Luke 1:46-55 is the full text of her song that she composed on the spot:

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor 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 forever.

I believe that this song was etched into Mary's heart and mind, and that it sustained her in tough times. I would venture to say that she probably thought of this when she was standing at the foot of the cross.

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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