Filling The Hungry ( Magnificat – Part II )

” He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation,

He has shown the strength of His arm,

He has scattered the proud in their conceit

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty”.


This section of the canticle speaks again of the goodness of God, and also about what it is that He really wants for us.


The mercy that it speaks of in the first line of this section is not a mercy that is a freedom from judgment, or a mercy where God is sparring us from a punishment of some sort.  Instead this is a mercy that is born of love.


A mercy born of this kind of love is Gods’ love for us. It is His desire to shelter us, to provide for us, and indeed to bless us with all that is good.


When the canticle speaks of these those who fear Him, what does that mean exactly ?  Fear in this context means reverence, respect, love, honor and glory.  This is not the fear of fright, trembling, bone shaking and unnerving lack of peace or tranquility.

This section of the canticle again harkens back to tell or remind its audience about the Exodus.  The beginnings of the story of how Gods’ plan for the Messiah has been brought about.  God showed the strength of His arm, through the plagues , through the fire, through the parting of the Red Sea, and providing for His people in the dessert.

” He has cast down the mighty” , who were the Egyptians and Pharaoh and ” He has lifted up the lowly”  who were the slaves of Egypt.

“He has filled the hungry with good things…” This last line of this section speaks of how the slaves finally find the “Land of Milk and Honey” and are filled with good things and the Egyptians are left empty with nothing.

So what does this part of the canticle mean for us today ?

Just as in the days of the Exodus, God still wants to “fill us with good things”.  He wants to bless us and care for us.  Maybe you have questions about God, and maybe you have questions about your faith.  The question then becomes what is it that you will then do with the questions you have ?


Even the questions have questions !  Then the questions you initially have, lead you to other questions !! The “Big Question” is what to do with ALL those questions.

The first hurdle is to overcome that very human sin of pride !  Possibly you have a fear of having others know , that you don’t have some seemingly basic piece of knowledge that you think everyone else has !

Maybe you find that your questions is somehow embarrassing, or there are things you do not want to share with your friends, acquaintances, or maybe even your pastor to know.

Faced with the combination of the seemingly overwhelming questions and the human tendencies toward the sins of pride, fear and our ego, we can choose the path of turning away and ignoring the questions and do nothing. You can choose to put these thoughts and questions on the shelf and ignore them for a while.   You can cover them over, filling your mind and your life with other things , other thoughts etc.

However, in due time, those questions tend to resurface In the quiet, in the stillness of your mind God is calling.


The other choice is to go meet those questions head on !  T grow in your faith means you place yourself at risk to some degree.  Whether that risk is physical, financial, or some other type of personal or psychological work, there is a need to venture our of your comfort zone.

To step out in faith means you begin to trust God.  You believe that God will take you and do what ever needs to be done which is what is best for you.  It is how God fills you with “good things”.


When are the rich sent away empty ?  This is not necessarily a literal financial statement   Consider when a person is not faced with worldly challenges, the questions are fewer or may be different.  Those who  believe themselves rich, or that they already have all the answers to their questions, or maybe even do not care about the questions at all because their lives are “fine”.  They never ponder these questions and therefore they are “sent away empty” because they do not ask the questions.

” You have not…. because you ask not”.





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One Response to “Filling The Hungry ( Magnificat – Part II )”

  1. SaintlySages Says:

    God satisfies physical hunger with material goods, as He fed them manna on their journey to the Promised Land (Nm 11; Ps 78); but He also satisfies spiritual hunger with spiritual goods, when Christ the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35, 48) teaches us, giving us spiritual food for the journey to Paradise. It seems to follow that we can fulfill His admonition to feed the hungry (Mt 25:31-46) either by performing corporal works of mercy or spiritual works of mercy whenever we discover that such things are lacking. Physical hunger is often more urgent, requiring immediate attention; but spiritual hunger is more vital, since it contributes substantially to our eternal well-being. God bless!

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