This is a kind of lyrical song on the blessedness of Mary. Nowhere can we better see the paradox of blessedness than in her life. To Mary was granted the blessedness of being the mother of the Son of God. Her heart might well be filled a wondering, tremulous joy at so great a privilege. Yet that very blessedness was to be a sword to pierce her heart. It meant that someday she would see her son hanging on a cross.
To be chosen by God so often means at one and the same time a crown of joy and a cross of sorrow. The piercing truth is that God does not choose a person for ease and comfort and selfish joy but for a task that will take all that head and heart and hand can bring to it. God chooses a man in order to use him. When Joan of Arc knew that her time was short, she prayed, "I shall only last a year; use me as you can." When that is realized, the sorrows and hardships that serving God may bring are not matters for lamentation; they are our glory, for all is suffered for God.
When Richard Cameron, the Scottish Covenanter, was caught by the "dragoons" they killed him. He had very beautiful hands; they were cut off and sent to his father with a message asking if he recognized them. "They are my son's," he said, "my own dear son's. Good is the will of the Lord who can never wrong me or mine." The shadows of life were lit by the sense that they, too, were in the plan of God. A Spanish saint prayed for his people, "May God deny you peace and give you glory." A great modern preacher said, "Jesus Christ came not to make life easy but to make men great."
It is the paradox of blessedness that it confers on a person at one and the same time the greatest joy and the greatest task in all the world.