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by Brian Flagg,

The Magnificat (Luke 1, 46-56)

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.

Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.

Holy is his name, and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him. He has shown the power of his arm, he has routed the proud of heart. He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent away empty.

He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy –according to the promise he made to our ancestors –of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.”

I’m with the Holy Father, who in the Joy of the Gospel #288, points to Maria as a model for evangelization based on the Magnificant:

“There is a Marian ‘style’ to the Church’s work of evangelization. Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In her we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves. Contemplating Mary, we realize that she who praised God for ‘bringing down the mighty from their thrones’ and ‘sending the rich away empty’ (Lk 1:52-53) is also the one who brings a homely warmth to our pursuit of justice. She is also the one who carefully keeps ‘all these things, pondering them in her heart’ (Lk 2:19). Mary is able to recognize the traces of God’s Spirit in events great and small. She constantly contemplates the mystery of God in our world, in human history and in our daily lives. She is the woman of prayer and work in Nazareth, and she is also Our Lady of Help, who sets out from her town ‘with haste’ (Lk 1:39) to be of service to others. This interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization.”

Beautiful words, but how to practice them?

I think I understand the tenderness part and God knows it is something I need to drastically embrace and improve on.

And the justice part?

I’m convinced that it is more than just making peanut butter sandwiches, serving soup or other charitable acts.

It’s about becoming political so as to fight the politicians, the bureaucrats and the organized MONEY that makes for so much income disparity in our culture and in our world.

I am suggesting that to be political and to struggle is a more mature practice of our Catholic Christian faith, one that is generally unpopular and rarely preached about.

It is nothing less than standing up with and for the dignity of fellow humans, which gives real-world content to evangelization! People will know you are authentic disciples and be drawn to the faith , to the person of Jesus and the words of his mother, as they see you fearlessly practicing the faith in the face of evil unbridled capitalism.

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