And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. (Luke 1:46-55 KJV)
Today’s reading is called the Magnificat; Mary’s song in response to her relative Elizabeth’s proclamation that she is the mother of the Lord.
There are so many lovely things about Mary’s response. The first is this word “magnify.” The term connotes actions of enlarging, increasing, and enhancing. Through Mary’s yes God is literally magnified; grown from tiny, begotten deity to born baby, and eventually to crucified man. Like Mary, we are also called to be God-bearers, though differently than she was. We are called to take the tiny seeds of faith which are planted within us and grow them into their full fruits. To grow ourselves ever more into the image of Christ.
And periodically, perhaps, to be crucified.
Through our ongoing yeses, we are like Mary; magnifying God’s presence in the life of the world.
The second interesting thing about today’s passage is the message that Mary chooses to convey about the adventing of this child. She and John the Baptist are the final prophets before Jesus’ ministry is launched. This prophecy is her longest speech recorded in the Bible. Its message must be listened to. And in this prophetic message, Mary the God-bearer speaks not of sin, nor of judgement. She speaks of God’s mercy. She speaks about the scattering of the proud and arrogant, and of the conflation of their self-image. She promises that God—her father, son, and spouse—comes to exalt those who are lowly and degraded. Those who are hungry for food, love, and acceptance. She tells us that the days of being ruled by the iron fist of Moses’ books are done, and that the time of a simpler relationship, like the one God had with Abraham, has returned.
Rejoice in these promises. Embrace your role as God-bearer. Be doers of his loving mercy. Be like Mary, and magnify him.
The nativity mystery "conceived from the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary", means, that God became human, truly human out of his own grace. The miracle of the existence of Jesus , his “climbing down of God” is: Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary! Here is a human being, the Virgin Mary, and as he comes from God, Jesus comes also from this human being. Born of the Virgin Mary means a human origin for God. Jesus Christ is not only truly God, he is human like every one of us. He is human without limitation. He is not only similar to us, he is like us.