SONG OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
SEVEN HE HATH PUT DOWN THE MIGHTY- ST. LUKE 1:51-59
hath shewed might in His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit
of their heart.
hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the
humble."-St. Luke 1:51-52.
was thinking about the dealings of God with His people in past centuries.
Just as we should do today, she thought about what is taught in the Bible.
In ancient times, God brought His people out of Egypt and set them free
from oppression and slavery. The deeds of God, all through history, are
mighty. In the twentieth chapter of 2 Paralipomenon (also known as 2
Chronicles), there is a wonderful example of how God will protect and
guide His earthly children. Here is the story of what happened:
large army had gathered to destroy God's people, and were marching toward
this the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them of the
Ammonites, were gathered together to fight against Josaphat. "And
there came messengers, and told Josaphat, saying: There cometh a great
multitude against thee from beyond the sea, and out of Syria, and behold
they are in Asosonthamar, which is Engaddi."-7 Paralipomenon 20: 1
King Josaphat (Jehoshaphat) heard this, he prayed to God for help. Then,
after gathering the Israelites together they prayed some more, and the
Lord instructed them by a prophet to march against the immense foe. They
were given the assurance that the God of heaven would fight the battle for
shall not be you that shall fight, but only stand with confidence, and you
shall see the help of the Lord over you." -2 Paralipomenon 20: 17.
full faith and courage, they set a group of singers to go in front of the
army! Then off they marched. However, they had not gone far, when another
message came from the Lord. It was not only a message to God's people in
ancient times, it is a message for us today:
me, ye men of Juda, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in the
Lord your God, and you shall be secure: believe His prophets, and all
things shall succeed well."-2 Paralipomenon 20:20.
a wonderful message of instruction and courage! You and I will be
perfectly safe if we trust our lives to the Inspired Writings-the Holy
human help could deliver the Israelites, but God fought for them that day;
and, when they arrived at the place of battle, they found their enemies
slain by one another.
hath shewed might in His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit
of their heart."-St. Luke 1:51.
is as we trust in the Lord our God, that we have help from above! He can
do wonderful things to guide and preserve us, if we will let Him. In His
strength, we can overcome all the power of the enemy, and come off more
than conquerors. This is because Jesus came to earth to save us from our
she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. For He
shall save His people from their sins."-St. Matthew 1:21.
as the Virgin said: If we would be blessed like Mary, we must be humble
little children of God.
hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty
away."-St. Luke 1:53.
those who bow low in reverent worship of, and obedience to, the God of
heaven can receive His blessing. But, as we have seen, the Virgin did just
that. She meekly submitted to the will of God, therefore He could fulfill
His plan for her life.
St. Matthew 19, we learn about a wealthy, young man who did not make the
right choice. Although he had great treasures, he did not have the Lord in
his life. He had not done as Mary did. He had not surrendered all that he
had to God."
behold one came and said to Him [Jesus]: Good Master; what good shall I do
that I may have everlasting life?"-St. Matthew 19:16.
this, Jesus replied, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the
the young man asked, "which one," Jesus named several of the Ten
Commandments found in Exodus 20:317.
said to him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt
not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false
witness."-St. Matthew 19:18.
answer to the young man’s question about how to inherit eternal life,
Jesus told him to keep the law of God. But, unfortunately, the young man
hesitated, would not make a full surrender, and he left.
went away sad: for he had great possessions." St. Matthew 19:22.
rich man had allowed his wealth to keep him from heaven. Truly, Mary said:
"He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath
sent empty away."-St. Luke 1:53.
they surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, the strong, the wealthy, the
great men of this world will lose out on eternal life. Only those who are
humble, meek, and obedient to the Word of God will enter through the heavenly
gates into the glorious paradise beyond.
can, indeed, fill the hungry with good things! Mary probably had in mind
the wonderful story of the manna in the wilderness.
the Israelites had left Egypt, they found that they lacked food. They
cried to Moses for help, and God worked a miracle. The entire story is in
Exodus, chapter 16.
the Lord said to Moses: Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you: let
the people go forth, and gather what is sufficient for every day: that I
may prove them whether they will walk in My law, or not."-Exodus
Lord was testing the people. Would they obey His law? But, you might ask,
"How would the gathering of the manna each day show whether they were
obeying the Ten Commandments?"
next verse explains the test:
the sixth day, let them provide for to bring in: and let it be double to
that they were wont to gather everyday."-Exodus 16:5. The remainder
of the chapter explains what happened after this. Each night, while the
children of Israel slept, manna would fall from the sky. It appeared to be
small and white; and, the following morning, the people would gather it in
pots and eat it. By the middle of the day, the manna had melted away.
Lord had instructed the people through Moses that, throughout the week,
they should not try to save any of the manna till the next morning. So,
when some tried to do so, they found that it had putrefied.
on the sixth day, twice as much manna fell! The people were told to gather
twice as much and save part of it till the next day, which was the Bible
they did; but, when some went out on Sabbath morning to gather manna, the
Lord was displeased. "Gather it six days: but on the seventh day is
the Sabbath of the Lord, therefore it shall not be found. "And the
seventh day came: and some of the people going forth to gather, found
the Lord said to Moses: How long will you refuse to keep My commandments,
and My law?
that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, and for this reason on the sixth
day He giveth you a double provision."-Exodus 16:16-29.
that was the test: Would the people keep the Fourth Commandment, which is
the Sabbath Commandment? After that reproof, the Israelites observed the
Sabbath more carefully.
the people kept the Sabbath on the seventh day."-Exodus 20:30.
is of interest that this incident about the manna occurred four chapters
before the Ten Commandments were proclaimed in Exodus 20. God's people had
known about God's law of Ten Commandments earlier; but, after coming out
of Egyptian bondage, they were given the law again to remind them of its
would not, in Exodus 16, have been expected, to know and keep the Sabbath
commandment, if they were first given it four chapters later.
is the Fourth Commandment, as given in the Holy Scriptures:
Fourth Commandment-"Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day. Six
days shalt thou labour, and shalt do all thy works.
on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no
work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor
thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy
in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things
that are in them, and rested on the seventh day: therefore the Lord
blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it."-Exodus 20:8-11.
all this, the Virgin Mary declared in her song: "He hath filled the
hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away."-St.
is able to feed us both physically and spiritually. "Blessed are they
that hunger and thirst after justice [righteousness]: for they shall have
their fill."-St. Matthew 5:6.
version, approved by the Catholic Church, says it this way: "Blessed
are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be
satisfied." -St. Matthew 5:6.
is an interesting comment on this beautiful verse:
is holiness, likeness to God, and 'God is love.' 1 St. John 4:16. It is
conformity to the law of God, for 'all Thy commandments are righteousness'
(Psalm 119:172), and 'love is the fulfilling of the law' (Romans 13:10).
Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The
righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving
by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gifts or sacrifice, is
righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers
and thirsts to receive it. 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the
waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat. . without money
and without price.' 'Their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.' And,
'This is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.' Isaias 55:1; 54:17; Jeremias 23:6.
human agent can supply that which will satisfy the hunger and thirst of
the soul. But Jesus says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if
any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will
sup with him, and he with Me.' 'I am the bread of life; he that cometh to
Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.'
The Apocalypse 3:20; St. John 6:35.
we need food to sustain our physical strength, so do we need Christ, the
Bread from heaven, to sustain spiritual life and impart strength to work
the works of God. As the body is continually receiving the nourishment
that sustains life and vigor, so the soul must be constantly communing
with Christ, submitting to Him and depending wholly upon Him."-Mount
of Blessing. 18-19.
God every day for what He can do in your life! Your Redeemer can take the
shattered threads of your life and reunite them. He can do for you that
which you could never do for yourself.
ETERNAL FAITHFULNESS -ST. LUKE 1:54-55
Virgin Mary knew that God would fulfill His promises to His faithful,
obedient people; for, throughout history, He always has.
hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy.
He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever."-St.
earlier centuries, the Lord had made promises to Abraham that, in his
seed, all the world would be blessed. "And in thy seed shall all the
nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed My
chose Abraham and blessed the world through him, because he willingly
obeyed God's commandments. The promise was later repeated to Jacob:
in thee and thy seed all the tribes of the earth shall be
blessing was to come through Abraham's seed, that is, through Christ.
"To Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He saith not, And
to his seeds, as of many: but as of one, And to thy seed, which is
that promise is for us today!
if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to
the promise."-Galatians 3:29.
made the promise to Abraham that, in his seed, all the world would be
blessed. God made a covenant with Abraham. It is called the Abramic
covenant. It is the foundation covenant of God with His people in all
ages. Just before proclaiming the Ten Commandments to the people at Mount
Sinai, God promised to make them His people if they would obey Him.
"If therefore you will hear My voice; and keep My covenant, you
shall be My peculiar possession above all people: for all the earth is
you shall be to Me a priestly kingdom, and a holy nation."-Exodus
covenant is an agreement between two parties. God promised to protect and
save the people, if they would, by faith in His enabling strength, obey
His law. God has never changed that covenant, for God does not change. It
is an everlasting covenant. "For I am the Lord, and I change
best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the
Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of
alteration." St. James 1:17.
thankful we can be that, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, we can
enter into the everlasting covenant and be redeemed!
Lord never changes, and He is one in divinity and purpose with the Father.
"Jesus Christ, yesterday, and to day; and the same for ever."
which My Father hath given Me, is greater than all: and no one can snatch
them out of the hand of My Father. I and My Father are one." St. John
God does not change, and Christ does not change; neither does the covenant
change. Those who will, by faith in Christ, obey God's law may inherit
is only one everlasting covenant (also called the "everlasting
may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great pastor of
the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the blood of the everlasting
testament, fit you in all goodness, that you may do His will; doing in you
that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom is
glory for ever and ever." Hebrews 13:20.
"everlasting" covenant, or testament, God will write in our
hearts, if we will humbly repent of our sins and accept Him as our only
this is the testament which I will make unto them after those days, saith
the Lord. I will give My laws in their hearts, and on their minds will I
write I them."-Hebrews 10:16 (quoting Jeremias 31:32-33).
is not a "new" covenant in the sense of a new kind. But it is
new in the sense of a new aspect of the covenant made with Abraham. It is
the one everlasting covenant.
are the special people whom God uses here on earth, the ones who
especially enter into the everlasting covenant with Him? They are the ones
who obey His Word. Because Abraham was obedient to God's commands, he was
especially used by heaven to give an example to generations, which came
I know that he will command his children, and his household after him to
keep the way of the Lord and do judgment and justice: that for Abraham's
sake . the Lord may bring to effect all things He hath spoken unto
him." Genesis 18: 19.
it may be with us today. God will accept and take us for His special
people, if we will take hold of His strength and obey Him.
therefore you will hear My voice, and keep My covenant, you shall. be My
peculiar possession above all people: for all the earth is
entire song of Mary consists of Mary's understanding of the Old
Testament Scriptures. Everything she presents comes from the Old
hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy: As He spoke
to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever."-St. Luke
have learned that the covenant which God spoke to our fathers is the
everlasting covenant. It has not changed; for God does not change. This
covenant is established on the fact that we will obey Him. He writes His
law on our hearts; and, by the enabling grace of our Saviour, we obey it.
with the covenant, our Lord has given us abundant promises through the
Bible prophets! Let us consider several of these glorious promises:
thou shalt know that the Lord thy God, He is a strong and faithful God,
keeping His covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that
keep His commandments, unto a thousand generations." Deuteronomy
Bible "generation" is frequently considered to be 120 years. At
that rate, it would take 120,000 years for a thousand generations to
elapse! If a "generation" were only half that amount (60 years),
it would be 60,000 years. According to the Scriptures, the world was
created only about 6,000 years ago. God's covenant with man will last so
far into the future that time will be forgotten by then.
are more of these sweet promises:
be the Lord, who hath given rest to His people Israel, according to all
that He promised: there hath not failed so much as one word of all the
good things that He promises"-3 Kings [I Kings] 8:56.
Lord, Thy mercy is in heaven, and Thy truth reacheth even to the
clouds."-Psalm 35:6 [Psalm 36:5].
is faithful: by whom you are called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus
Christ our Lord."-1 Corinthians 1:9.
meaning more abundantly to shew to the heirs of the promise the
immutability of His counsel, interposed an oath. That by two immutable
things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have the strongest
comfort, who have fled for refuge to hold fast the hope set before us.
Which we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm."--Hebrews
let them also that suffer according to the will of God, commend their
souls in good deeds to the faithful Creator."-2 St. Peter 4:19.
our Saviour, said that He is the only pathway to heaven. Only through Him
can we be saved. "Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth,
and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by Me." St. John 14:6.
has gone to prepare mansions for us; so, we should spend our time down
here preparing our lives for heaven. By His grace we should live clean,
obedient lives. "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God,
believe also in Me.
My Father's house there are many mansions. If not [If it were not so], I
would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you.
If I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will
take you to Myself; that where I am, you also may be."-St. John.
are many other wonderful promises in the Holy Scriptures. As you read, you
will come across one after another. They are like diamonds lying on the
ground, just waiting to be gathered up!
you know that the Virgin Mary is also mentioned in the book of Galatians?
when the fulness of time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made
under the law: That He might redeem them who were under the law: that we
might receive the adoption of sons."-Galatians 4:4-5.
Son is the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary—whom she pointed to -declaring
that the people should obey all that He said.
you know that the Virgin told the people that they must obey Christ? We
read about this event in the second chapter of St. John.
the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of
Jesus was there. "And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to
the marriage."-St. John 2:1-2.
people say that Jesus is opposed to marriage, and the holiest people on
earth are those who never marry. Yet Jesus went to a wedding, at the
beginning of His ministry, and performed His first miracle there.
was given to mankind by the God of heaven.
a man and woman who have dedicated their lives to God, to serve and obey
Him, are wedded—they start a home which is a little heaven on earth. The
children which go forth from that home are a blessing to mankind. Marriage,
when properly entered into, is of God.
the Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone: let Us make him a
help like unto himself. . And the Lord God. . brought her [Eve] to Adam. .
Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his
wife: and they shall be two in one flesh."-Genesis 2: 18, 22, 24.
are those who say that marriage does not have the honor which God placed
upon it. They declare that the holiest people are those who never marry!
They forbid marriage. But this teaching is unscriptural. Here is what the
Apostle Paul says:
the Spirit manifestly saith that, in the last times, some shall depart
from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,
speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared, forbidding
to marry."-1 Timothy 4:1-3.
Peter was married and, to the best of our knowledge, so were all the
other Apostles. They were the first ministers of the church: and the
ministers, in later centuries, would follow their example.
is God's plan that a man be married. It is normal and good. . "Let
every man have his own wife."-1 Corinthians 7:2.
should ministers in the church be married? What does the Bible say? Three
of the Apostle Paul's letters were written to young pastors, and are
filled with ministerial counsel. Three times St. Paul mentioned that
church officers (deacons, elders, pastors, etc.) should be married.
St. Paul said that deacons should be married:
the deacons be the husbands of one wife: who rule well their children, and
their own houses." -1 Timothy 3:12.
St. Paul said that bishops in the church should be married:
behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one
wife."-1 Timothy 3:2.
St. Paul said that all the priests should be married. He also said they
should not drink fermented wine:
left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are
wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed
any be without crime, the husband of one wife, having faithful children,
not accused of riot, or unruly. .
a bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not proud, not
subject to anger, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy
given to hospitality, gentle, sober, just; holy, continent. .
that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to
exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers."-Titus
is God's plan that a minister be married, so that he is not tempted when
he is counseling his parishioners. We read in the newspapers of the
scandals which Catholic priests and Protestant ministers are led into,
when they are not married. Indeed, without marriage, the moral fabric of
civilization tends to break down!
just now, let us return to the marriage at Cana. When Jesus went there, He
took His disciples so they could see how important the institution of
marriage was in His estimation. He did not want people to later say that
He was opposed to marriage.
they arrived for the wedding, Mary was already there. She was so happy to
see her Son again.
then a problem developed. Normally, the family of the bridegroom would
provide enough grape juice (called "wine" in this passage) to
last throughout the entire marriage feast. But the supply had run out.
the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine.
" St. John 2:3.
this wine fermented or unfermented? There is no doubt that Jesus would not
have attended this gathering if it had been a drunken feast! Neither
would His mother, Mary! Can you imagine Mary at a liquor party? There were
no alcoholic beverages at this happy event.
was Christ who, in the Old Testament, condemned the use of alcoholic
drinks. "Wipe is a Luxurious thing and drunkenness riotous: whosoever
is delighted therewith Shall not be wise." Proverbs 20:1.
is how another Church-approved translation puts it:
is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and who ever is led astray by it is
not wise."-Proverbs 20:1, R.S.V.
is terrible, and is classed with other terrible sins: "Fornication,
uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts . . envies,
murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which l foretell
you, as I, have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not
obtain the kingdom of God."--Galatians 5: 19-21.
no! neither Jesus nor His good mother, Mary, went to a drunken party!
not in the feasts of great drinkers, nor in their revellings, who
contribute flesh to eat: Because they that give themselves to drinking,
and that club together shall be consumed."-Proverbs 23:20-21.
hath woe? Whose father hath woe? Who hath contentions? Who falls into
pits? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? -Surely ,
they that pass their time in wine, and study to drink Off their cups.
not upon wine. . It goeth in pleasantly, but, in the end it will bite like
a snake, and will spread abroad poison like a basilisk [another type of
Greek word, translated "wine" in St. John 2, is oinos. It means
unfermented grape juice. So Mary, the mother of Jesus went to Him and told
Him that the supply of grape juice was exhausted. "And the wine
failing, the mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine."-St.
Virgin Mary had implicit faith in her Son. She knew that she, herself,
could do nothing to solve the problem, but that Jesus had all power to
do whatever was needed.
it is today! Only Jesus can help us! No one else can, not even His
precious mother. Christ alone can deliver, Christ alone can redeem our
souls. Christ alone can provide for our great need. He alone can intercede
for us in heaven today. He alone can answer our prayers.
response to what Mary said, Jesus said something, which to us, seems
Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to Me and to thee? My hour is not
yet come."-St. John 2:4.
Jesus said to her, 0 woman, what have you to do with Me? My hour has not
yet come."-John 2:4, R.S.V.
you could read this in the original Greek, you would find that it reads
just like the above; yet was not an unkind remark. In the custom of that
time, Jesus was addressing His mother very courteously.
He was telling her that He was now an adult, about to start on His mission
to save mankind, and that He was no longer her child, to be directed and
told what to do. Remember this. Jesus was grown-up when He said that to
Mary. He is still grown up! His work of redeeming mankind, begun back
then, continues today.
was important that Jesus explain this to His mother. Mary needed to
understand that she was not in charge of Christ, and no
longer-forever-able to get Him to do anything special for her, that He
would not do for any of His other followers.
Mary turned to the attendants at the wedding feast, and she made this
extremely significant statement:
"Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye."-St. John 2:5.
is how another version, approved by Rome, translates it: "Do
whatever He tells you."-John 2:5, R.S.V.
years had passed since Christ was a new-born child. He was now beginning
His ministry, and it would lead to His death on Calvary-and to His
resurrection and ascension to heaven to begin His ministry as our great
view of all that was ahead, what did Mary say to the people?
said, "Do whatever He tells you! " That is what she said to
them. That is what she would say to us today.
whatever He tells you!"
you know that these were the last words of Mary, recorded in Holy
Scripture? That makes them important words for us, today. Let us remember
them: "Do whatever He tells you!"
rest of the story is well-known. You will find the entire story in St.
John 2: 1-11. Christ turned fresh water into fresh grape juice. Yet it
only happened because the servants obeyed. Good things can only happen in
our lives today because we, too, obey our Saviour.
we want our hearts changed by a miracle of Christ, we need to follow all
that Jesus says in His Written Word. We do not honor Jesus when we do not
it came to pass, as He spoke these things, a certain woman from the -
crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore
Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck!
He said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the Word of God, and keep
it!"-St. Luke 11:27-28.
recognized the fact that Christ could work miracles for the people, and
that she could not. It was because she knew He could, that she directed
the people to go to Him for help.
as Mary did, we today should direct people to go to Christ for spiritual
help and healing of soul. Only the Creator can provide what we need. Jesus
is God; Mary was only His earthly mother. Christ is her Saviour, just as
He is ours.
you want help, do as Mary said: Go to Jesus and do what He says. It is
found in the Bible.
All the information we find in Holy Scripture was given to us by Christ. That is where you will find His instructions. None of it will do us any good unless we obey it. The last words of Mary are for us today: "Do what He tells you!"