TALK ON THE THEME DELIEVED AT THE DELEGATES CONFERENCE OF THE 1ST DISTRICT CADET COMMANDERY AND DISTRICT 1 JUNIOR AUXILIARY OF THE KNIGHT OF ST. JOHN INTERNATIONAL HELD AT. ST. JOHN'S SCHOOL -SEKONDI ON 12TH AUGUST, 2017 BY FR. EMMANUEL DOLPHYNE. I thank the organizers that for the opportunity to deliver a talk on the theme for your conference.
My dear friends, I am very excited that the planners decided to use the theme for this year's world youth day that is,
"The Mighty One has done great things for me, and Holy is His name."
(Luke 1:49) as the theme for this year's conference.The use of this Marian theme is very much providential since it's gives us a better appreciation of next year's General Assembly of the Synod Bishops (October 2018) on the theme : YOUTH, FAITH AND VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT. Let me also add that the preparatory document for this synod is divided into three parts, namely;
1. Listening to reality
2. Discernment in the light of faith in order to make life choices that truly corresponds to the will of God and the good of the person.
3. Pastoral action of the ecclesial community
My dear friends, you will agree with me that our them from Luke 1:49 ;" THE MIGHTY ONE HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR ME , HOLY IS HIS NAME " reflects the first part of the document for the Synod of Bishops which focuses on the need to listen to reality. It is therefore evidential that Mary paid attention to what is happening to her and reflected on it and it brought to the fore, God's greatness and the nothingness of Mary before God.
Generally, this verse which we have chosen as our theme is part of Mary's song of praise to God – widely referred to as The Magnificat – recorded in the first chapter of Luke's gospel.
The Magnificat is generally considered as having three sections;
The first expresses the joy she feels in her heart.
The second states what God has done for her as an individual.
And the third is a general description of God, Why God treats people the way He does.
In our theme, Mary describe God as "The Mighty One." She acknowledges that God is the Supreme Being who is His own existence and is infinitely perfect. He made all things visible and invisible out of nothing. He can accomplish all things. With Him, nothing is impossible. He is omniscient – knows all things, omnipresent – is at all places, and omnipotent – is all powerful. Such is "The Mighty One" whom Mary praises for doing great things for her.
Again, Mary proclaims that "Holy is His name." Holiness is the essence of God. He is completely free from sin. He is separated from and exalted above all of His creation.Mary stress the way this holiness expresses itself, warning us that God's greatness does not make him deal with only the great , or because God is exalted, He favors what is exalted among men.
He has mercy on those who fear Him and who also humble themselves. Mary goes on to see in her own experience the example of the way God is. He condescends to Mary's lowliness and does a great thing for her – He makes her His own Mother. For Mary, an excellent life was not about self-esteem, pride or personal right. It was about availing one's self to be used to fulfil the purpose of God.
What fills Mary's heart with joy and moves her to sing this song of praise is God loves to reach out to the 'anawim'(disadvantage, outcast, unloved, etc) who calls on His mercy. This is shown in verses 50, 52 and 53 of Luke 1.
– that God shows mercy on those who fear Him.
– that God exalts the lowly.
– that God fills the hungry worth good things.
Mary's hymn expresses praise to God for His goodness to her, and also extends her praise to how God has treated the righteous throughout the ages and how He will vindicate them fully in future.
Mary speaks for herself and for her community – the people of God throughout history. God is worthy of praise for what He had done, what He is doing and He what He will do in taking care of His own.
Understanding God's blessings moves the believer to joy and appreciation, Since the almighty cares personally for each one of us and always acts on our behalf.
It is important to note that the praises we offer to God are for our own good. Our praises does not add anything to God. He does not need our praises to feel Good about Himself. However, the praises we offer to God are for our own benefits. Just like Mary, our songs of praises grants us the opportunity to reflect on the nature of God – His goodness and mercy as well as His might and holiness.
Finally, although we cannot fully understand God, we tend to get a better understanding of Him through praising him and that helps deepen our faith in Him. Mary's perspective forms the basis for her gratitude. God owed her nothing. She owes God everything. All the good things that come from His hand are acts of grace. Kindly permit me to end in the prayerful words of St. Ambrose
"May Mary be in each one to magnify the Lord.
May Mary's soul be in each one to rejoice in God."
Have a wonderful jamboree, make new friends and also use this opportunity to deepen your faith in God by paying attention to what is happening around and within you so that together with Mary we shall sing the mighty one has done great things for us, HOLY IS HIS NAME.