Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 8, 2020
Sing to the LORD a new song,Psalm 98:1
Who has done wondrous deeds;
Whose right hand has won victory,
God’s holy arm.
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, as we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we pray with Psalm 98, a song foreshadowing Mary’s prophetic Magnificat.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for He has looked with favor on His humble servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed,
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
Sister Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, describes the Mary’s Magnificat like this:
… in the line of the great biblical singers Miriam, Moses, Deborah and Hannah, Mary launches into divine praise. Her spirit rejoices in God her Savior, for poor and common woman though she may be, the powerful, living, holy God is doing great things to her. Not to her only but to all the poor, bringing the mighty down from their thrones, exalting the lowly, filling the hungry with good things, sending the unrepentant rich away empty all of this in fulfillment of the ancient promise. In her very being this is happening, for she embodies the nonentities on whom God is lavishing rescue. This great prayer, a revolutionary song of salvation, places Mary in solidarity with the project of the coming reign of God whose intent is to heal, redeem and liberate.
Psalm 98 focuses us on the point that our prayer today with Mary is about God’s power for the poor, the lowly, the hungry, the bereaved, frightened, lost, lonely and sorrowing — all the beloved aching children of God.
Mary says there is a Power much greater than the one that oppresses any of us. Look to that Power with hope. Draw strength from that Promise.
The LORD has made his salvation known:Psalm 98: 2-3
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his mercy and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seenPsalm 98: 3-4
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
Poem: Segments of a poem “A New Magnificat” by Hillary Watson, Pastor of Shalom Community Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
And why should I not be smiling, knowing what I know now about what comes after all this when all the evil falls down, when justice bursts like a sweet flood through the streets and all the pennies thrown into all wishing wells rise up like miracles? Let me tell you the Good News: There is Good News. That’s it: goodness, somewhere, rushing toward us in the place where future meets present tense. Hope unwinds across the fragile world and whispers its nightmares away. There is a good day coming, I can see it, when the walls built up between countries crumble back into the earth they rose from and all the people run free where they want like every contour of every nation was shaped by the same God, there’s a day coming when bullets freeze themselves in the policeman’s guns, when all the Border Patrol cars stall out in one breath, their guns and tasers melt into plows and paintbrushes, and the children trapped in desert camps sing down the walls that hold them, they sing back the road to their mothers and their fathers.
Music: The Magnificat- sung by the Daughters of Mary