UNBORN WORD of the day


Beautiful in the womb

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VIRGIN MARY “OF THE SIGN”, 15TH CENTURY, MEZQUITA CATHEDRAL, ANDALUSIA CORDOBA, SPAIN

In his Apostolic Exhortaion entitled Vita Consecrata (March 25, 1996) John Paul II has a thought provoking quote from St. Augustine:

“Beautiful is God, the Word with God … He is beautiful in heaven, beautiful on earth; beautiful in the womb, beautiful in his parents’ arms, beautiful in his miracles, beautiful in his sufferings; beautiful in inviting to life, beautiful in not worrying about death, beautiful in giving up his life and beautiful in taking it up again; he is beautiful on the Cross, beautiful in the tomb, beautiful in heaven. Listen to the song with understanding, and let not the weakness of the flesh distract your eyes from the splendour of his beauty.” #24



MERCY INCARNATE: THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD TO MARY

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Annunciation by Bradi Barth

This year, because March 25th fell in Holy Week, the great feast day of the Annunciation of the Lord to Mary has been moved to Monday April 8, 2013. This feast day also marks the Incarnation of Christ our Lord. Due to this date change, Divine Mercy Sunday (the 7th) and the Annunciation (the 8th) are back-to-back.

This fact draws our attention to the incredible testimony to the Mercy of God contained within the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. At the beginning of his 1980 encyclical letter Dives in Misericordia, On the Mercy of God, John Paul II recounts the understanding of God’s mercy found in the Old Testament, then he comments:

“Christ confers on the whole of the Old Testament tradition about God’s mercy a definitive meaning. Not only does He speak of it and explain it by the use of comparisons and parables, but above all He Himself makes it incarnate and personifies it. He Himself, in a certain sense, is mercy.” (#2)

Later in this same encyclical John Paul II speaks of Christ’s messianic program as a program of mercy, relying upon the prophet Isaiah to help define it as “the revelation of merciful love for the poor, the suffering and prisoners, for the blind, the oppressed and sinners”. (#8)

Mercy is etched upon the life of Christ from Incarnation to Ascension. We are all daily beneficiaries of His program of Mercy. But John Paul II goes a step further: “Christ’s messianic program, the program of mercy, becomes the program of His people, the program of the Church.” (#8)

The worldwide Pro-Life community has always identified itself with the Mercy and forgiveness of God and must continue to emphasize this Program of Mercy. In the unborn and newborn Christ Child we see that God’s mercy is humble, vulnerable and therefore open to misinterpretation as mere weakness. But the Christ child’s humility and vulnerability, like Mercy and forgiveness are expressions of the redemptive power of God. The Pro – Life movement must continue to reflect mercy and forgiveness, in order to reach out to those most invested in so-called “abortion rights” and the destruction of humble, vulnerable human life.



He comes in order to embrace creation anew
May 15, 2012, 6:45 pm
Filed under: John Paul II, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

Annunciation – as the Hunt of the Unicorn by Erfurt St. Severi (1470-80)

“The time for the fulfilment of this promise for mankind and for all creation arrived when Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became the Mother of the Son of God.

He is the firstborn of creation (cf. Col 1:15).

Everything created was eternally in him.

In coming to the world, he comes into what is his, as Saint John says (cf. Jn 1:11).

He comes in order to embrace creation anew, to begin the work of the world’s redemption, to restore to creation its original holiness and dignity.

He comes to make us see, by his very coming, the particular dignity which belongs to created nature.”

JOHN PAUL II   Address at the Liturgy of the Word  12 June 1999

Detail of Unborn Christ Child – Annunciation – as the Hunt of the Unicorn  by Erfurt St. Severi (1470-80)



Mary’s 2nd Annunciation: “Woman Behold Your Son”
April 6, 2012, 7:33 am
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, John Paul II, Mary, The Incarnation

Painting of Virgin Mary, Croatia, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Rector’s Palace

The angel Gabriel’s words in Nazareth: “Hail, full of grace” (Lk 1,28) also cast light on the scene at Calvary. The Annunciation comes at the beginning, the Cross signals the fulfillment.

At the Annunciation, Mary gives human nature to the Son of God within her womb; at the foot of the Cross, she welcomes the whole of humanity within her heart in the person of John. She was Mother of God from the first moments of the Incarnation, and she became the Mother of humanity during the final moments of the life of her Son Jesus on earth.

She, who was without sin, on Calvary “experienced” within her own being the suffering of sin that her Son had taken upon himself to save humankind. At the foot of the Cross on which was dying the One whom she had conceived at the moment of her “yes” at the Annunciation, Mary received, as it were, a “second annunciation”: “Woman, behold, your son!” (Jn 19,26).

Message of the Holy Father John Paul II for the 18th World Youth Day (April 13, 2003)



PRAYING THE WAY OF THE INCARNATION: The Nazareth Event – Day 2
November 28, 2011, 8:50 pm
Filed under: Advent, Incarnation, John Paul II, Prayer, Unborn Jesus

Umbert the Unborn – The Greatest Moment  in Unborn History (Click on Picture to see full view)

FIRST STATION

“Creation is thus completed by the Incarnation and since that moment is permeated by the powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation.” (John Paul II # 52 The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World)

A MORNING OFFERING

O Lord, This new day of Advent I offer you my day. Renew my hope in your power to change the world. Help me to look for moments of grace throughout the day. The grace of your Incarnation that permeates Creation with the power to transform the world.



The Infallibility Question of the Day
March 3, 2011, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II

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In the Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae), John Paul II presents a powerful and prophetic teaching in defense of human life. Nowhere is this more evident than in Section 57 of the encyclical. Could the following be anything but an infallible and definitive teaching?

“Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. ” (Footnote 51: LG 25) Evangelium Vitae, 57

The footnote references the Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium, point 25. Point 25 talks about Papal Infallibility.

See also Section 58 of The Gospel of Life below which elaborates on this strong teaching in Section 57.

“The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end. It is in fact a grave act of disobedience to the moral law, and indeed to God himself, the author and guarantor of that law; it contradicts the fundamental virtues of justice and charity. “Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action“. Evangelium Vitae, 58



Embraced by His Incarnation and Resurrection
April 3, 2010, 11:32 pm
Filed under: Incarnation, John Paul II

Matthias Grunewald,  Annunciation and Resurrection

“Christ is the Lord of time; he is its beginning and end; every year, every day, every moment are embraced by his Incarnation and Resurrection, and thus become part of “the fullness of time’ ”

John Paul II, Oct. 30, 1999

. “For me it is the virgin birth, the Incarnation, the resurrection which are the true laws of the flesh and the physical. Death, decay, destruction are the suspension of these laws. I am always astonished at the emphasis the Church puts on the body. It is not the soul she says will rise but the body, glorified…”

Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being, pg. 100



He emptied himself: from the womb to the cross
April 2, 2010, 12:09 am
Filed under: John Paul II, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

Replica of the miraculous image of Mary Bogenberg

“Though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:6-8).

In his General Audience of February 17, 1988 entitled Jesus Christ Emptied Himself,  John Paul II  shows how this term applied to Jesus’ life from beginning to end.

“To express this mystery the apostle uses first of all the words “emptied himself,” which refers especially to the reality of the Incarnation. “The Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14). God the Son assumed human nature, humanity, and became true man, while remaining God!…

In this context, his becoming like man involved a voluntary renunciation, which extended even to the privileges he could have enjoyed as man. He assumed “the form of a slave.”

We see in the Gospels that Christ’s earthly life was marked by poverty from the very beginning. This was clearly set out in the account of his birth, when the evangelist Luke observed that “there was no room for them [Mary and Joseph] in the inn,” and that Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger (cf. Lk 2:7).”

“From Matthew we learn that already in the first months of Jesus’ life, he experienced the lot of a refugee (cf. Mt 2:13-15).

His hidden life at Nazareth was lived in extremely modest conditions; the head of the family was a carpenter (cf. Mt 13:55) and Jesus himself worked with his putative father (Mk 6:3).”

“When he began his teaching, his situation continued to be one of extreme poverty, as he himself bore witness to in a certain way by referring to the precarious conditions of life imposed by his ministry of evangelization. ‘Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head’ (Lk 9:58).

From its beginning, Jesus’ messianic mission encountered opposition and misunderstanding, despite the signs which he worked. He was observed and persecuted by those who had power and influence over the people.”

“Finally, he was accused, condemned and put to death on a cross, the most infamous of all forms of capital punishment. It was applied only for crimes of extreme gravity, especially to those people who were not Roman citizens, and to slaves. For this reason also it can be said with the Apostle that Christ literally took “the form of a slave” (Phil 2:7).

He wrote that Jesus Christ ‘humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross’ (Phil 2:8). Here Christ’s kenosis is described in its definitive dimension. From the human point of view it is the dimension of the self-emptying by means of his passion and cruel death.”




The Cross itself is already mysteriously present at the instant of the Incarnation
March 30, 2010, 5:19 pm
Filed under: John Paul II, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

Annunciation Scene – Jean Bellegambe

“The Cross itself is already mysteriously present at the instant of the Incarnation, at the very moment of Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb. Indeed, the ecce venio in the Letter to the Hebrews (cf. 10: 5-9)* is the primordial act of the Son’s obedience to the Father, an acceptance of his redeeming sacrifice already at the time ‘when Christ came into the world’.”

From the Letter of John Paul II to the Montfort Religious Family, 8 December 2003, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

* “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired;
but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.”
(Hebrews 10:5-7)



THE MOTHER OF ALL FEAST DAYS QUICKLY APPROACHES – MARCH 25
March 11, 2010, 10:40 pm
Filed under: John Paul II, Unborn Jesus

John Paul II the Great left the Church a vast legacy of abundant fruits! One of these incalculable contributions is his profound and extensive teaching about ‘Theology of the Body’. Beginning with the Book of Genesis, Chapter One, in September 1979, he began what turned out to be an extraordinary collection of teachings which are destined to bless the Church for centuries to come.

Here is one quote which is particularly relevant to the subject of this blog:

“The fact that theology also considers the body should not astonish or surprise anyone who is aware of the mystery and reality of the Incarnation. Theology is that science whose subject is divinity. Through the fact that the word of God became flesh, the body entered theology through the main door.”  (April 2, 1980; #4)

Indeed! And Christ Himself commented on this fact immediately as it occurred as we read in Hebrews:

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired,
but a body hast thou prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’
as it is written of me in the roll of the book.”        Heb 10:5-7

You will find the above reading in the Mass for The Annunciation of the Lord on March 25th. Pope Paul VI commented on this passage from Hebrews, calling it the “fundamental offering that the Incarnate Word made to the Father when he entered the world” and St Alphonsus de Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, comments on this passage explaining that Christ spoke these words “immediately” (in other words, at the first cell stage of His life; His conception).

Christ acknowledges that He has received, as a gift from His Father in heaven, His body… and when He says “I have come to do thy will, O God”, He implies His own acceptance of and satisfaction with the Body received, and explicitly states His own holy intention to unite the gift of His body and soul to the holy and glorious purposes of His Father. So, an incipient theology of the body comes from the “lips” of Christ Zygote, Christ Embryo. This is a very positive view of one’s body and soul, as a gift bursting with potential and purpose. By the fact of His conception and “speaking”, we see the unity of His Person with His body, and by the fact of His “offering”, we see that this fundamental act is an act of holy love.

Further, frequently throughout His life on earth our Lord repeatedly re-stated this offering of His life and Himself to the holy will of His Father – a whole and complete offering, which includes His body being offered for the benefit of others. The Incarnation – viewed as a loving offering – teaches us the simple truth that God is Love.



Why Advent?
November 29, 2009, 11:49 pm
Filed under: Advent, John Paul II

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’


When you think about it – the Church has two special times of the year when it asks Christians to set a time aside for prayer and reflection (and fasting) -Advent and Lent-.

Why Advent?

Because…

As John Paul tells us in Dominum Et Vivificantem:

  • ” Creation is thus completed by the Incarnation and since that moment is permeated by the powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation.” #52
  • “The mystery of the  Incarnation constitutes the climax of this (God’s) giving, this divine self-communication” #50
  • “What was accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit “in the fullness of time” can only through the Spirit’s power now emerge from the memory of the Church. By his power it can be made present in the new phase of man’s history on earth: the year 2000 from the birth of Christ.” #51
  • “But it must also be remembered that for us Christians this event (the Incarnation) indicates, as St. Paul says, the ‘fullness of time’, because in it human history has been wholly permeated by the ‘measurement’ of God himself: a transcendent presence of the ‘eternal now.’ ” #49

Advent is that time to get in touch with that ” divine self-communication”, to become aware of  “human history that is permeated by the measurement of God himself” and the “powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation”. Right now in our world’s history we desperately need this power of the Incarnation to ” be made present in this new phase of man’s history on earth”.

We must realize that Advent and Christmas is a time where God is prepared to pour out anew many graces upon his children. Pro-lifers: in a special way this is our season. We who are pro-life should use this time when Christ came to our world first in a womb and then in a manger  to renew ourselves to go out and build a ‘culture of life’.



Motherhood and the Mystery of the Cross
September 20, 2009, 7:43 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II

Jesus blessing pregnant woman

Station – Jesus meets the weeping women  in Pfefferschlag He blesses those who are pregnant and the children in the square in front of the historic village church.

They are a sharing in the mystery of the Cross, in which Jesus reveals the value of every person, and how life attains its fullness in the sincere gift of self. Over and above such outstanding moments, there is an everyday heroism, made up of gestures of sharing, big or small, which build up an authentic culture of life….

Part of this daily heroism is also the silent but effective and eloquent witness of all those ‘brave mothers who devote themselves to their own family without reserve, who suffer in giving birth to their children and who are ready to make any effort, to face any sacrifice, in order to pass on to them the best of themselves’.

In living out their mission “these heroic women do not always find support in the world around them. On the contrary, the cultural models frequently promoted and broadcast by the media do not encourage motherhood. In the name of progress and modernity the values of fidelity, chastity, sacrifice, to which a host of Christian wives and mothers have borne and continue to bear outstanding witness, are presented as obsolete …

We thank you, heroic mothers, for your invincible love!

We thank you for your intrepid trust in God and in his love.

We thank you for the sacrifice of your life …”

From: The Gospel of Life, Section 86



TWO WOMEN WHO BROUGHT US “CORPUS CHRISTI”: HISTORY & MYSTERY
April 8, 2009, 9:35 pm
Filed under: John Paul II, Mary, Saints, The Eucharist

You may have never heard of Blessed Juliana of Cornillon  (Juliana of Liege), 1192 -1258. She was an Augustinian nun who was the first promoter of a feast day in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. She has been recognized as the person primarily responsible for the introduction of the Corpus Christi feast day during the middle ages. According to Acta Sanctorum, she had a unique and extraordinary devotion. She said the Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55) nine times a day; once for each month that Our Lord spent in the womb of His mother. (The Magnificat was proclaimed by Mary while she was pregnant.) One can not help but see the beautiful connection here in Juliana’s spiritual life between her devotion to the Body of Christ in the womb and the Body of Christ upon the altar.

Which leads us to the second woman: Mary the Mother of Jesus. In his encyclical letter ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA, On the Eucharist in Its Relationship to the Church, John Paul II discusses Mary and the Eucharist:

“In a certain sense Mary lived her Eucharistic faith even before the institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the Incarnation of God’s Word. The Eucharist, while commemorating the passion and resurrection, is also in continuity with the incarnation. At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of his body and blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord’s body and blood.”

“As a result, there is a profound analogy between the Fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived “through the Holy Spirit” was “the Son of God” (Lk 1:30-35). In continuity with the Virgin’s faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine.”

“Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). Mary also anticipated, in the mystery of the incarnation, the Church’s Eucharistic faith. When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made flesh, she became in some way a “tabernacle” – the first “tabernacle” in history – in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating his light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary. And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?”(#55)

“The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life, like that of Mary, may become completely a Magnificat!” (#58)



WHAT JOHN PAUL II SAID 5 YEARS AFTER ISSUANCE OF HIS “GOSPEL OF LIFE” ENCYCLICAL – PART II
April 7, 2009, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II

respect-life-memorial-garden1

Conceptual sketch of “Our Lady of Guadalupe Respect Life Memorial Garden” St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

Our last post gave reflections by John Paul II on his “Gospel of Life” Encyclical, 5 years after its issuance. Here are more of those reflections, taken from the second half of his discourse. John Paul II called for an APOSTOLATE OF LIFE:

An authentic apostolate of life cannot be simply delegated to specific movements, however praiseworthy, that work in the sociopolitical field. It must be an integral part of the Church’s pastoral ministry, whose task is to proclaim the ‘Gospel of Life’. For this to be effective, it is important to set up educational programs, as well as services and special structures for guidance and support.”

“…it should be given practical expression by offering services that will enable anyone in trouble to find the necessary help.”

“…efforts should be made so that these services become a ‘sign’ and a message.”

“Just as the community needs places of worship, it should sense the need to organize, especially at the diocesan level, educational and operational services to support human life, services that will be the fruit of charity and a sign of vitality.”

“…accompanied by the changing of mentalities and morals on a vast scale, in an extensive and visible way. In this area the Church will spare no effort nor can she accept negligence or guilty silence.

“I turn in particular to those young people…may they be the first agents and beneficiaries of the work that will be done in the context of the apostolate of life.”

“May every person of good will feel called to play an active part in this great cause. May he be sustained by the conviction that every step taken in defending the right to life and its concrete advancement is a step towards peace and civilization.”

UNBORNWORDoftheday Comments on John Paul II’s reflections: John Paul called for “an authentic apostolate of life” that he said “must be an integral part of the Church’s pastoral ministry”. He describes this apostolate of life in terms of education, services and structures that will present a sign and deliver a message borne of charity, all “in defending the right to life and its concrete advancement”. It seems to us that the Pope was envisioning a New form of comprehensive Pastoral Outreach for the 21st century. A New pastoral ministry combining education and services “especially at the diocesan level” which would “support human life”. This seems to be a radical challenge from John Paul the Great to “every person of good will”. Are we up to it? Are we willing? Remember his sobering warning: “…the Church will spare no effort nor can she accept negligence or guilty silence”.





WHAT JOHN PAUL II SAID 5 YEARS AFTER ISSUANCE OF HIS “GOSPEL OF LIFE” ENCYCLICAL – PART I
April 5, 2009, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II

john-paul-ii-holding-child

At a Vatican symposium in early 2000 commemorating the 5th anniversary of his prophetic “Gospel of Life” Encyclical Letter , John Paul made some interesting comments about the document (Latin title is: Evangelium Vitae). Here are two of those comments.

“I started from a vision of hope for humanity’s future.”

“…a document which I consider central to the whole Magisterium of my Pontificate and in thematic continuity with the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI of venerable memory.”

John Paul also gives the following two facts about the Gospel of Life:

  1. “The persistent difficulty which this message encounters in a world marked by serious signs of violence and decadence.”
  2. “The unchanging validity of this message and also the possibility of it being accepted in a society where the community of believers, with the concerned involvement of people of good will, courageously and unitedly express its commitment.”

John Paul then called the Encyclical’s message: “a reference point for civil salvation”.

In our next post we will present Part II of this reflection & John Paul’s expectation for ACTION by all of us!



Advent Silence
December 15, 2008, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Advent, John Paul II, Papal Quotes

annunciation_melozzo_da_forli_pantheon

Fresco of the Annunciation at the Pantheon, Rome, 15th century

In a homily Pope Paul VI gave in Nazareth on January 5, 1964 he reminded us that:

“The silence of Nazareth should teach us how to meditate in peace and quiet, to reflect on the deeply spiritual, and to be open to the voice of God’s inner wisdom and the counsel of his true teachers. Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of meditation, of a well-ordered personal spiritual life, and of silent prayer that is known only to God.”

Thirty years later, when Pope John Paul II visited Nazareth he brought forth something else Pope Paul VI had said in that 1964 homily:

“Here in the town which Pope Paul VI, when he visited Nazareth, called ‘the school of the Gospel’, where ‘we learn to look at and to listen to, to ponder and to penetrate the deep and mysterious meaning of the very simple, very humble and very beautiful appearing of the Son of God’. ”  Nazareth: Pope John Paul II (homily) Solemnity of the Annunciation 25th March 2000



Re-reading the Magnificat in a Eucharistic Key
November 29, 2008, 10:42 pm
Filed under: John Paul II, Mary, The Incarnation

visitation-unborn-babies

The Visitation, panel from the St. James Altarpiece, c.1440 Bohemian School, (15th century) (Czech) tempera on panel (visitation type fetus)

“In the Eucharist the Church is completely united to Christ and his sacrifice, and makes her own the spirit of Mary. This truth can be understood more deeply by re-reading the Magnificat in a Eucharistic key. The Eucharist, like the Canticle of Mary, is first and foremost praise and thanksgiving.

When Mary exclaims: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour’, she already bears Jesus in her womb. She praises God ‘through’ Jesus, but she also praises him ‘in’ Jesus and ‘with’ Jesus. This is itself the true ‘Eucharistic attitude’.
At the same time Mary recalls the wonders worked by God in salvation history in fulfillment of the promise once made to the fathers (cf. Lk 1:55), and proclaims the wonder that surpasses them all, the redemptive incarnation.

Lastly, the Magnificat reflects the eschatological tension of the Eucharist. Every time the Son of God comes again to us in the “poverty” of the sacramental signs of bread and wine, the seeds of that new history wherein the mighty are ‘put down from their thrones’ and ‘those of low degree are exalted’ (cf. Lk 1:52), take root in the world.

Mary sings of the ‘new heavens’and the ‘new earth’ which find in the Eucharist their anticipation and in some sense their programme and plan. The Magnificat expresses Mary’s spirituality, and there is nothing greater than this spirituality for helping us to experience the mystery of the Eucharist. The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life, like that of Mary, may become completely a Magnificat!

John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, section 58