CHRISTIAN NEWS MAGAZINE FOR KERALA MALAYALEE CHRISTIANS FROM INDIA AROUND THE WORLD
DECEMBER 2005 DEVOTIONAL MESSAGE
VOL:4 ISSUE:12


THE MIGHTY ONE HAS DONE GREAT THINGS

By THOMAS MAR ATHANASIOS METROPOLITAN
[Diocesan Metropolitan of Chengannoor Diocese and Synod Secretary, Malankara Orthodox Church]




H.G. THOMAS
MAR
ATHANASIOS METROPOLITAN

For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name. [Luke 1:49]

The background of the praise song from Mary, Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is the interview between Mary and Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. The meeting of these two, took place when they were both with child of those pregnant births, and the prophecies and praises they both uttered upon that occasion. Conception of John Baptist transpired six months before Mary conceived Jesus by Holy Spirit.

The angel Gabriel carried his message as cheerfully to Mary at Nazareth in Galilee as to Zachariah in the temple at Jerusalem. The angel of Lord surprised her with his esteem form of salutation, Hail Mary, thou art highly favored. She has the blessing of God upon her: Blessed are you among women; not only you shall be accounted so by men, but you be so. You are so highly favored in this instance that may expect all other things to be blessed. With the consternation she was in, upon this address, she explains this herself: All generations shall call me blessed.

Mary lived in Nazareth, a city of Galilee, a remote corner of the country. As soon as Mary received the intimation of the Lord's favor bestowed on her cousin Elizabeth, she acknowledges her condescension to go all the way to Judea to visit the house of Elizabeth and priest Zachariah. While all we put together, it make a great harmony of all the incidents. Sometimes it may prove a better piece of service that we organize to bring similar people of analogous situations together, to freely converse to compare notes and to share the spiritual experiences. The various organizations in the Church, for the children, youth, students, elders etc. do a great mission with this vision. It is very beneficial and comfortable to consult those who are in the same case, that they may communicate experiences one to another; and they will find that, as in water face answers to face, so does the heart of human to human.

We have here an interview between the two happy child-carrying mothers, Elizabeth and Mary. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, may be as per the word of the angel to Zachariah that he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his motherís womb. Elizabeth too, prophesized as an echo to the Virgin Maryís salutation. Here we hear the song of praise of Mary. Her soul magnified the Lord, put the focus on God and praised Him. Her spirit rejoiced in God, her Savior. She acknowledged the Godís blessing upon her and her unworthiness. She was humble. She accepted that the recognition from people may come from Godís blessing. She honored the Lord for His character and mighty acts. She comprehended His strength in the miracle working power He possessed. She recognized His strength in bringing down those who oppose Him. She admitted His glory for those who are humble. She experienced His care and provision for those who are in need. She observed the Lordís help for His chosen people. She knew the Lord remembers His mercy and promise to the people who now belong to him.

Another very important point to be noticed in this context is the question aroused by the people about the infant John. Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her. All those who heard the wonderful acts of God kept them in mind, saying, "What then will this child turn out to be?" The children are the future of the Church and of the society, the upcoming and imminent builders of the kingdom of God. We do not know what they will turn out to be. It is a great mission of the church to pray for the children for their upbringing in the instruction of God. It will be great grace if we separate out a day for the infants, a Children's Day, to dedicate them to Lord.

Mothers are GodĎs wonderful gift to mankind and it is through mothers that God manifests His love more deeply. Prayer can change a child especially during the pregnant period, which is even physchologically proved. Prayer lets our child change completely from the heart because our God knows the depths of manís heart. Only prayer can result in spiritual accomplishment. Prayer can turn around adverse situations. Prayer not only can convert manĎs heart but also change adversities into blessings in disguise.

In keeping this particular thought, we focus our attention on the fullness of God's grace displayed in the life of Mary and her acceptance of it as the great work of the mighty Lord. Holy is His name. We receive much providence as individual, church, society, country and the whole mankind. But these all are the great work of the mighty one. This acceptance and submission will lead us into the understanding of the mystery of godliness.

[Extract from Message delivered at St. Gregorios Church Philadelphia
Original in Malayalam : Translated by Editor Dr. Rajan Mathew Philadelphia, USA]
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