The Hail Mary is one of the first prayers most of us learn. The beauty of this simple prayer echoes the praise we hear from Elizabeth to her cousin, Mary, in today’s Gospel. Although prevalent in both liturgy and prayer, a much lesser known prayer is titled The Magnificat. The Magnificat, also found in today’s Gospel is Mary’s response to Elizabeth.
The Magnificat is filled with praise for the Lord, with the opening line “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” This is the root of today’s Connecting Point. We are asked to internalize Mary’s prayer and ask ourselves what we are doing to proclaim God’s greatness. If we compare ourselves to Mary, we will always fall short. She is the first, true disciple as her “Yes” to carry Jesus forever changed the world. This doesn’t mean we don’t try; it means we try harder. If Mary, with her humble beginnings, can change the world, what opportunity do each of us have in revealing God to others?
The world we live in is scary. We need strong faith to raise our kids and grandkids. We need the fortitude to stand up to all of the people who believe us to be naïve or even simple minded. If we proudly and prayerfully commit to grow as Christians, we are working toward proclaiming God’s greatness.
St. Isidore does not claim to be a perfect community, but we are doing many things that are in line with what disciples are asked to do. Our outward facing ministries show love for neighbor. We feed the hungry and provide clothing. We visit with the lonely and are constantly praying for all of mankind (not just the Catholics). These are all steps of proclaiming God’s greatness. The more people, people just like you and me, that take their first step toward discipleship, the more we as a community of believers are revealing God’s greatness to everyone we encounter. When we are weak and weary, let’s turn to our Mother, Mary to intercede on our behalf. Hail Mary!