Pope Francis: Magnificat, “the song of hope”

At this Monday’s Angelus, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which we will celebrate in Brazil next Sunday, the Pope explained the meaning of the Magnificat, the song of the Mother of Jesus that was transmitted to us by the Gospel of Luke, which narrates the work of God in history and also announces a reversal of values, prophesying what Jesus will say.

Silvonei José – Vatican News

“The Virgin Mary prophesies: she prophesies that having the first place is not power, success and money, but service, humility and love”. That’s what Pope Francis said at this Monday’s Angelus, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and which in Brazil we will celebrate next Sunday.

The Gospel – Francis said – proposes dialogue between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. “When Mary enters the house and greets Elizabeth, she says: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb”. These words, full of faith, joy and enchantment, became part of the “Ave Maria”. Every time we recite this beautiful and familiar prayer, we do like Elizabeth: we greet Mary and we bless her, because she brings us Jesus. Mary welcomes Elizabeth’s blessing and responds with song, a gift for us, for all of history, the Magnificat. it is a song of praise, which we could define as “the song of hope”.

It is a hymn of praise and exultation for the great things the Lord has accomplished in her, but Mary goes further:

“Contemplate the work of God throughout the history of his people. It says, for example, that the Lord “hath brought down the mighty from their thrones, exalted the lowly, satisfied the needy with good things, and sent the rich away empty.”

Angelus St. Peter's Square

Angelus St. Peter’s Square

small and humble

But he wants to tell us something more important”, highlights Pope Francis:

She, small and humble, was lifted up and – we celebrate today – taken to the glory of Heaven, while the mighty of the world are destined to remain empty-handed. Our Lady, in other words, heralds a radical change, an inversion of values. As she speaks to Elizabeth with Jesus in her womb, she anticipates what her Son will say, when he will proclaim blessed the poor and humble and warn the rich and those who trust in their own self-sufficiency.

The Virgin, therefore, prophesies that having first place is not power, success and money, but service, humility and love. “Looking at her in glory, we understand that true power is service and that reigning means loving. And that this is the way to heaven.”

Francis emphasizes that the prophetic inversion announced by Mary touches the life of each one of us if we believe “that to love is to reign and to serve is to be able. That the goal of my life is Heaven, paradise? Or am I only concerned with earthly, material things? And yet, observing the events of the world, do I allow myself to be taken by pessimism or, like the Virgin, do I know how to perceive the work of God who, with meekness and smallness, accomplishes great things?

Angelus St. Peter's Square

Angelus St. Peter’s Square

Mary sings of hope

“Mary today sings of hope and rekindles hope in us: in her we see the goal of the journey: she is the first creature who with all of herself, body and soul, arrives victorious at the goal of Heaven”.

Mary – continued the Pope -, “shows us that Heaven is within reach, if we too do not give in to sin, praise God with humility and serve others with generosity.

Don’t give in to sin. But one may say, “But Father, I am weak”-“But the Lord is always near you, for he is merciful.” Do not forget what God’s style is: closeness, compassion and tenderness. Always close to us with his style.

Pope Francis concluded by saying that Mary, our Mother, “takes us by the hand, accompanies us to glory, invites us to rejoice in the thought of paradise. Let us bless Mary with our prayers and ask her for a prophetic gaze, capable of catching a glimpse of Heaven on earth”.

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