Thursday, August 15, 2013

Magnification (2013-08-15, Assumption)

This is my homily for the Assumption Feast (2013-08-15).  I am a Catholic chaplain at  Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU, Teaneck),   FDU Newman Catholic Association,  New Jersey City University (NJCU) in Jersey City.  At FDU, Sunday Evening Mass resumes,  August 25, 2013 @ 5:00 pm at  FDU Chapel, 842 River Road, Teaneck. 

••• Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab ••• Psalm 45 •• 1 Corinthians 15:20-27 •• + Luke 1:39-56  ••••

[__01__] In the Gospel, Elizabeth personally and enthusiastically welcomes Mary as the “mother of my Lord.”  (Luke 1:43).

From Elizabeth, words of welcome are offered. These words are a magnification, an indication of greatness, as all personal accolades and acclaims are.

Elizabeth is honoring Mary, raising her up, explicitly indicating her status.

Magnification is a technique or technology we impose … so as to gain a better view.

Magnification comes in different styles and colors. Reading glasses would be an example. 

Magnification can help us to survive, to live… to detect a typographical error or some other 

[__02__]  The state of the magnifying or magnification art, today, may entice us or frighten us.  For example, Google map satellites that allow us an aerial view of our homes, or the home we just visited or used to live in. This is enticing.
Or, frightening..  Who is, for example, listening to my conversations?  Could someone detect  or magnify my COMPLETE Social Security Number based on a small fragment of 4 digits or fewer.
Magnification can be risky …

 [__03_]  Mary herself responds to the greeting of Elizabeth with hero won magnification, the prayer we traditionally call the MAGNIFICAT …
“my soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord” (Luke 1:46, NAB) or, also …
“my soul doth magnify the Lord” (Luke 1:46, Douay-Rheims)

[__03.01]   Mary is the first magnifier of the Lord’s physical presence. And, we are also called to magnify the original … to magnify the original presence and gift of God’s grace within us to others.
What does this AUTHENTIC MAGNIFICAITON entail for you and for me? What is the state of the art…spiritually?
We are, on the one hand, aware of what physical and material magnification is…

 [__04_]   Magnification is, at times, only a superficial aspect for visual special effect.   This is external.
The IMAX large screen at the cinema of Garden State Plaza would be one example. We receive superficial magnification, a hyperbole of dimension and sound.   
Such magnification is inviting… enticing. Of course, it is natural that we might enjoy some entertainment on the big screen, in its oversize form.
The comfort or enjoyment of this magnification will be temporary. The magnification is also provided by someone else.

[__05__] Magnification.
I’d like to reflect on what we mean by magnification from within. Internally.
Mary as the mother of our Savior speaks of magnifying God’s presence.

 [__06__]  Magnification is a technique by which we examine something small … or far away or …otherwise invisible.

In a spiritual sense, Mary magnified God’s presence which – until the birth of our Savior – 
also had appeared quite distant, quite invisible.

And, isn’t it true that sometimes our choices to be virtuous – to choose justice – also will cause our actions to be noticed, magnified, seen?

We might prefer to be unseen – or un-magnified.

Consider that you or I might work in an environment, an office, or to be part of a class or team at school – in which others do not share our faith or values or ethics.

They may not know our limits, boundaries, choices.

But … we can make them known by what we do nor do not do.

Consider the choice to be the one church goer in a family  …or in any other way that we may “stand out” or be noticed for our values. Or, we may be the one person among our friends choosing to go home early, to be honest.

Magnification is taking place magnified. However, we are not being magnified in a superficial IMAX-big-screen fashion. It is internal, happening inside.

Rather, we are magnifying God’s presence. Magnification, then, is not an effect, after the fact.

Rather, magnification is our reason, our cause, beforehand.

And through the sacraments of the Church and the grace of God, we learn to magnify his presence each day.    [__fin__]

No comments:

Post a Comment