THE SERVANT GENERAL
THEME FOR 2010
CANTICLE OF MARY
Our theme for 2010 and its various elements are very much
reflected in the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) and in the life
Mary bursts out in a psalm of praise. “My soul proclaims
the greatness of the Lord; The Mighty One has done great things
for me” (Lk 1:46,49a).
Job initially looked for answers from God. God answered, but
only spoke of His omniscience and almighty power. Job accepts
and is humbly content.
Mary also questioned the angel Gabriel. Gabriel spoke of the
power of the Most High, for whom nothing is impossible. Mary
accepted, acknowledging her being the Lord’s servant
We too are called to recognize and acknowledge the golden
splendor and awesome power and majesty of God. This is our
starting point in our knowing our rightful place in our relationship
to reverential fear
“His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.”
Elihu spoke last, before God finally speaks. Elihu means “My
God is he.” He defends God’s justice and explains
suffering. Job does not answer him, perhaps seeing the right
in what he said. Elihu spoke of reverential fear: “At
this my heart trembles and leaps out of its place, to hear
his angry voice as it rumbles forth from his mouth!”
(Job 37:1-2). “From the North the splendor comes, surrounding
God’s awesome majesty!” (Job 37:22).
too was awed by the greatness of the Lord, by the Mighty One
who does great things, by the One who shows might with His
We too, in recognizing the Almighty God for who He is, should
stand in awe and reverential fear before Him. Our very life
and well-being are in His hands. We are totally dependent
“and holy is his name” (Lk 1:49b).
Elihu said: “far be it from God to do wickedness; far
from the Almighty to do wrong! .... Surely, God cannot act
wickedly” (Job 34:10b,12a).
Mary was told of the holiness of the Triune God. “The
holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most
High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will
be called holy, the Son of God.” (Lk 1:35). Mary could
only exult: “holy is his name.”
Job was blameless and upright. Mary was conceived without
sin and was the holy mother of God. We too are called to be
holy. Peter tells us: “as he who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it
is written, ‘Be holy because I am holy.’”
(1 Pet 1:15-16).
“He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but
lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.” (Lk 1:52-53).
Elihu said: “the Almighty cannot violate justice. ....
He withholds not the just man’s rights, but grants vindication
to the oppressed.” (Job 34:12b,36:6).
Mary speaks of the reversal of human fortunes, of the lowly
being singled out for God’s favor. This is God’s
justice, when people receive what is their due. The hungry
will be satisfied and those who weep will laugh (Lk 6:21),
while those (the unjust rich and powerful) who are filled
now will be hungry and those who laugh now will grieve and
weep (Lk 6:25).
Job asked God to weigh him in the scales of justice, confident
that he would be innocent, and proceeded to cite his just
acts (Job 31:6-34). We too are called to act justly, giving
to everyone what is their due. In being just, we will experience
the justice of God. “Do me justice, O Lord, because
I am just.” (Ps 7:9).
“For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness”
(Lk 1:48a). “He has shown might with his arm, dispersed
the arrogant of mind and heart.” (Lk 1:51).
Job is humbled by his suffering and by the unjust rebukes
of his friends. He is further humbled by God’s response
to his seeking answers from Him. He realizes his place in
the face of the Almighty God.
Mary humbly says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the
Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
(Lk 1:38). She realizes her place as a humble instrument of
the Most High God.
too are called to humble ourselves. Our personal attitude
must be that of Jesus (Phil 2:5), who “emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave, .... he humbled himself, becoming
obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:7-8).
Peter instructs us: “clothe yourselves with humility
in your dealings with one another, for: ‘God opposes
the proud, but bestows favor on the humble.’ So humble
yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt
you in due time.” (1 Pet 5:5b-6).
“and you yourself a sword will pierce” (Lk 2:35a).
“my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Lk 1:47).
Job was blameless and upright; he feared God and avoided evil
(Job 1:1). He was innocent. But he nonetheless suffered terribly.
Then God redeemed him from his affliction and restored him.
just like any mother (or father), suffered terribly when her
Son suffered. Jesus was thought to be crazy by his relatives,
was betrayed by Judas, was abandoned by his apostles, was
demeaned by the people, was tortured, and finally suffered
an excruciating death on the cross. Mary was there, right
up to the foot of the cross, until Jesus died. But Jesus’
death, and subsequent resurrection, resulted in our salvation.
Mary herself, for her unique role, is our co-redemptrix.
We too are called to redemptive suffering, which is the way
of the cross, which is the way of a disciple of Christ. In
the world there will be affliction, such that we experience
pain and suffering. But such are intended by God to purify
us and to draw us closer to Himself. Suffering spurs us on
to greater holiness.
in the end
“behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.”
In the end, Job is restored to health and wealth, and is blessed
double what he had before.
In the end, Mary is enthroned as Queen of heaven and earth.
the end, we too will be blessed and rewarded. We will be with
God forever in heaven, with Jesus our Master and Mary our
mother. Job will be there too.
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Theme for 2010- Part 5[PDF]