MEMORIAL OF THE MOST HOLY NAME OF MARY
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
And Mary said,
“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; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary. It is a special and very specific feast. We do not just celebrate or memorialize Mary, but her name. The name of Mary means many things. The top origins and significance associated with the name are Hebrew for “bitterness” or “sea of bitterness” and Egyptian for “love” or “beloved.” Mary’s life is marked by both bitterness and love. Being truly the beloved of God, she endured much bitter suffering and experienced great joy.
In today’s scriptures, we read about the joy Mary experienced in her life as the beloved of God. In her Magnificat, she praises God and describes his character how he has come to the aid of the lowly and brings down the proud and powerful. The Magnificat contains comparisons and descriptions of God’s character worthy of study and meditation. Where do you see yourself falling in the phrases? What has God done for you? Are you the lowly he has raised up or the hungry he has filled? Are you the proud he has brought low or the rich he has emptied? Perhaps you have a little bit of both.
Take the time today to reflect on how God’s hand has been on your life. Whether he has raised you up or humbled you, he did it because you are his beloved and he wants to form you to be like him. Praise him for his faithfulness to you and ask for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the grace to experience joy as the beloved of God even through the bitterness of life.