By V. Rev. Bill Nordenbrock, C.PP.S.

On this wonderful Solemnity, the scripture gives us a familiar prayer, Mary’s Magnificat. The prayer begins:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
         my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for God has looked with favor on his lowly servant.”

The prayer goes on and Mary does precisely what she claims–she gives witness to the greatness of the Lord. But how the Magnificat most intrigues and challenges me is in these initial lines in which Mary expresses her identity.

She is a woman whose very being, her soul, is a proclamation about God. Proclaiming the greatness of the Lord is not something she does; it is who she is.

She is a woman who is filled with joy. Her relationship with the God who saves her inspires an immediate and grateful response.

She is a woman who knows that she is only a lowly servant of God. She recognizes that her humble surrender to the will of the God is a great personal blessing. It is not what she does for God, but a way in which God blesses her.

What would it mean for me to make this prayer my own? What would my life be if I could be a living proclamation of the greatness of God? What joy would I experience if I could surrender as completely to the will of God? Reflecting on those questions challenges me to see Mary as a model for my life. Reflecting on those questions inspires me to be all that God has called me to be as a child that is created in God’s own image and likeness.

On this the anniversary of our founding as the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, I also ask:

How would our Congregation be transformed if all members and associates embraced together the challenge of making this our identity? What a witness we would be! What a proclamation of the greatness of God!

May Our Lady of the Precious Blood guide us as we become more like her.


Fr. William Nordenbrock, C.PP.S., is the moderator general of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood worldwide. The Congregation, which serves in over 20 countries around the globe, was founded in Italy on August 15, 1815, by St. Gaspar del Bufalo.

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