May we all experience a Magnificat moment this Advent

“Advent is, above all else, a call to full consciousness and also a forewarning about the high price of consciousness.”   –  Father Richard Rohr

Nothing portrays Rohr’s words more than Mary’s song. Sung by Jesus’ mother, The Magnificat has been described by theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer as “the most passionate, the wildest, one might say the most revolutionary Advent hymn ever sung.”

In it, Mary sings of God’s mercy and strength, and of God’s anointed one upsetting the status quo through transformation, from what it is to what it ought to be.

That message is as true today as it was the night Jesus was born.

For nearly two years now, the pandemic has exposed our tragic socio-economic inequality and disparities. While these inequities are complex and cut across several domains, educational inequities are especially significant.

Mary’s song is a call to action. She sings of God’s call to us to create change and set things right. It is a song of hope of what God – through us – will do for the poor, the powerless, and the marginalized of the world.

Mary’s song is also a revolutionary song of salvation whose political, economic, and social dimensions cannot be ignored. It is so powerful that it has been viewed as dangerous by people in power. Throughout history, poor and oppressed people have identified with this song — the longest set of words spoken by a woman in the New Testament!

Some countries such as India, Guatemala and Argentina have outright banned the Magnificat because God’s preferential love for the poor was too revolutionary. Mary’s words were inspiring the poor to believe that change was indeed possible, so governments banned any recitation.

Mary’s song reminds us that right at the heart of God’s purpose for Jesus, right at the heart of Christian message is peace, justice, and social change!

WPU’s mission is an answer to Mary’s song. We are focused on providing the highest level of leadership, academic, and social opportunities to diverse, first-generation, and low-income students.

We need to continue to be God’s instruments to help bring about what is promised. Now more than ever.