BY ARCHBISHOP SOC VILLEGAS
The response of Mary to the greeting of Elizabeth was not a courteous thank you.
In response to the words of Elizabeth “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb”, Mary turns to the Lord and brings the praise she received to the Lord.
This song is Mary’s response to human praise. Instead of herself being praised, Mary used the occasion to proclaim the intervention of God in human existence. When God intervenes, how does God expect us to respond? When God blesses us, what does God want us to do in return?
Every intervention of God in human existence is an intervention of self-emptying.
God’s intervention is pure and selfless; so compassionate with our weaknesses, it does not make any demand. It does not demand reciprocation. It does not demand to be met and recognized. It is a patient self-dethroning intervention. This is the greatness of God that Mary proclaims.
Self-emptying love is always present and ever available but does not demand to be acknowledged. Self-emptying love is generous without seeking praise. Self-emptying love invites but does not coerce. Self-emptying love is ready to be vulnerable to the extent of being rebuked, despised, wronged and even suspected for loving. Self-emptying love is patient and allows time to take its course. Self-emptying love values the face of the loved one more than the face of the clock.
This is the love of Jesus. This is what Mary proclaims.
How can we love in the path of love that the Magnificat proclaims?
We have to let go of the wanting to be the center of attention. From the desire of being extolled, loved, honored, praised and preferred to others, we need to be delivered. From the fear of being ridiculed for loving, forgotten and even calumniated for doing good; we need not be afraid.
We have so much to work on and so much to let go, to be able to love like our self-emptying God. There is no happy Magnificat from a heart that is so full of ego.