I wonder if biblical people like Sarah and Abraham, Rachel, Deborah, or David ever exclaimed something similar when they realized how God had carried them through on the promise to never let them go. Mary of Nazareth says something a bit more refined in her Magnificat in Luke 1…
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed…”
I sometimes hear people say, “I’ve been blessed with good health,” or “I’ve been blessed with children,” or “a good job,” and I think they mean that they are grateful for the things which they’ve been given that has made their lives more pleasant.
But I don’t think that’s what Mary is saying here, because her life was not going to become pleasant or easy or comfortable as the mother of Jesus. I think she’s saying that when she had the courage to say YES to God’s invitation to use her to bring heaven closer to earth, her soul was transformed into something even more beautiful. Her soul expanded and became capable of holding an ever larger awareness of God—it magnified God’s presence. Her decision to say to the angel Gabriel, “May it be to me as you have said,” helped her grow in her own divinity, and it magnified God’s presence in the world.
The same things happens to us when we say YES to God, for Mary was just an ordinary person like you and me. Every day God greets each of us with the words, “Greetings, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you!” It’s just sometimes hard to hear the angel’s voice.
Every day we are given invitations to say YES to God. Sometimes the invitations ask us to make active decisions to think or say or do—to take the high road rather than the low road of mediocrity.
Sometimes saying YES comes in simply holding the posture of openness and acceptance of what IS.
Makes me think of the Serenity Prayer, which is a Magnificat in its own unique way:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Friends, may our souls magnify God’s peace-loving presence this day through our beautiful and blessed YESes.