“My Soul Magnifies the Lord”
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
Mary’s song of praise is also known as the Magnificat. It is said after Elizabeth’s greeting to her telling her that she is blessed among women and asking her how is “the mother of my Lord should come to me?” This all took place right after Mary’s visit from the angel Gabriel, and Mary leaves in haste to visit Elizabeth who is six months along in her own pregnancy. Mary is so overjoyed to be used by God to bring into the world the One who would save us. Yet, she is still humble, understanding she may be blessed but without God, none of this could even be possible.
Mary’s praise begins with magnifying the Lord and her spirit rejoicing in God. We all should magnify the Lord through our thoughts and actions. We are called to rejoice in all of the good things that He has done for us, even if we have troubles or struggles in our lives. Mary’s life was not made any easier or simpler by being the mother of the Son of God, and we will learn about the struggles of the birth of her Son in a few days. Yet, everything that God does for us should bring joy and praise.
Mary understands her role in salvation history, all generations will call her blessed. But she also knows her place in the hierarchy in the Kingdom of God, just a handmaid. We all want to feel important. We boast about our job, our education, our family status or income. We want trophies and ribbons for all of our accomplishments. We feel entitled to gain praise to ourselves for all that we have done. That is all good among men, but who are you in the Kingdom of God? In His Kingdom, we are all but handmaids, serving others and God. All that we have accomplished was because God blessed you. Even if you feel like it was done on your own, it was only by the grace of God that you were allowed to do so. If it was not for Him, you would not even be here. We need to focus on our proper place in God’s Kingdom so that we can refocus on how we can bring glory to Him and not to ourselves. Holy is His Name!
Mary continues with the great things God has done for His people throughout salvation history. Given mercy, shown strength, scattered the proud, put down the mighty, and exalted the lowly. He has fed the hungry, and turned away the rich because earthly riches have no meaning in God’s Kingdom. He also has spoken to Abraham and his descendents, and remembered His covenant to the people of Israel. When you pray, do you remember all that God has done for you, and thank Him for those things? We are called to have a thankful heart in all things, to bring praise and glory to God alone for all that He has done for us. Be sure to remember all of the blessings that God has given to you from your birth through your entire lifetime. Give Him the thanks and praise that He alone deserves.
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaid. For all in my family will call me blessed, for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. God, you alone have given mercy to the merciful, made fools the wise and the proud, taken down those who make themselves king, and blessed those who are humble. You have provided for me in all of my needs, feeding me and my family when we were hungry, giving us clothing to wear and shelter when we needed to get out of the storm. You have loved and helped all of your people throughout all of history, and remembered all those who love you and call you Lord. I will rejoice in your coming all the days of my life. Come Jesus, come. Amen.