Most Bible scholars reckon that Mary was in her teenage years when she uttered her Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55). Catholic tradition holds that Mary was presented in the Temple at a young age and was raised by holy guardians who reared her and taught her the Scriptures. The feast of the Presentation of Mary on November 21, the patronal feast of Presentation Ministries, preserves and celebrates this tradition.
Mary heard the word of God and kept it, that is, obeyed it (Lk 8:21). Mary conceived the Word of God (Jn 1:1, 14) in her womb and kept It, that is, guarded It. Mary treasured the Word of God and kept it, that is, contemplated it (Lk 2:19).
Mary's Magnificat flowed from the center of her "being" (Lk 1:46). Her words in the Magnificat are a constant quotation of Scripture. While carrying the Word of God in her womb, she also carried the Word of God in her heart and soul, and that word poured forth readily from her in the words of her Magnificat. Though a teenager, she had spent a lifetime in God's Word, and so she spoke from the abundance of her heart (Lk 6:45), and what was in her heart was the Word of God.
During these final days of Advent, let us prepare for the Christmas coming of Jesus, the Word of God, as Mary did: by immersing ourselves in Scripture. Devour God's Word (Jer 15:16) to prepare to meet the incarnate Word this Christmas.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2005 through January 31, 2006.
†Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005.