By REV. LUNA DINGAYAN
“He has brought down mighty kings from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich empty away.” – Luke 1:52-53
The Song of Mary called the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) pictures to us a God who is at work. And this shows the dignity of labor and God’s judgment over human idleness. But more importantly, it also shows where God is at work and where we, too, who believe in a working God, should also be working. We do believe that God is still working even today. The Psalmist says that God “never slumbers or sleeps” (Ps.121:4).
We may differ in our understanding as to where God is presently at work. Some may say that God is at work in the wonders of creation. Others may think that God is at work in the church, in the celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments. And still others may believe that God is at work in the preaching of the Word.
Remembering the Lowly
Mary’s Song, however, would suggest some other ways of looking at God’s work. First of all, God is shown at work in remembering the lowly (v.48). Mary, the mother of Jesus, was just an ordinary woman from an obscure town called Nazareth. Yet, in spite of that, she was chosen to be the bearer of the Messiah (Lk.1:.26-33). Out of this lowly woman’s womb, there formed and nurtured the Savior of humankind.
God truly remembers the lowly, and it is from among the lowly and not from among the proud and the mighty that our genuine salvation as a people and as a nation comes.
Bringing Down the Mighty
Moreover, God is also shown at work in bringing down the mighty kings from
their thrones and in lifting up the lowly (v.52). Mary declares in her song God’s presence even in the struggle for power. She recognizes the fact that the mighty kings’ hold on power is just temporary. It is not permanent. Perhaps, at present the mighty kings enjoy the comforts of their thrones. But certainly, there would come a time when they would be brought down from their thrones, and the lowly would be lifted up.
Examples of this reality in contemporary history are just numerous. Can we not see this happening, for instance, in EDSA I and in EDSA II? The only problem though with these people power revolutions called EDSA I and EDSA II is the fact that while the mighty were already brought down from their thrones the lowly are yet to be lifted up. In any case, in this whole process, which is sometimes bloody, Mary believes God is there working. Power is God’s good gift which is meant for service and not for self-aggrandizement (Mk.10:35-45).
Feeding the Hungry
Finally, God is also shown at work in sending the rich empty away and in feeding the hungry (v.53). It is not only in the struggle for power that God is present. Mary in her song proclaims that God is also present in the struggle for wealth. Mary had probably seen how the human desire for more and greater wealth corrupted the lives of the few and led the many to go hungry.
Wealth, however, is meant to be shared, so that the hungry would be fed. That is how God intended it to be (Lk.18:18-30). If wealth were not shared, time may come when it would be lost. God in surprising ways may take it away. For wealth belongs ultimately to God. Hence, it must be utilized according to God’s will and purpose. And so, in this whole process of ensuring that wealth is shared by everyone, Mary believes that God is there at work.
Feeding the hungry is not simply distributing free food coupons or relief goods or dole outs to the poor. The poor are hungry not only for food but also for freedom and justice. That’s why Jesus said to the Tempter, “Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks” (Mt. 4:4).
The poor needs freedom from poverty; they need economic justice to reign in our land. God’s word is a word of freedom and justice. And so, those who believe in this kind of God should do something to make His Word come through. # nordis.net