A reading from the gospel according to Luke 1:46-56
46 Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
48 for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed:
49 the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
50 He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
51 He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
52 He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy,
55 the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.”
56 Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.
Reflection: The Greatness of the Lord
This is a beautiful prayer of Mary, a simple and insignificant girl from a town of no importance yet chosen by God to be the mother of the savior of the world. Her gratitude reveals her heart bursting with joy and proclaiming the greatness of the Lord. It is also a song of praise to the Almighty who has done great things for her.
This canticle is not so much about Mary herself but about how she understood the nature of God. Thanks to her parents Saints Ann and Joachim who brought her up to be a holy and prayerful woman. Although the power of the Holy Spirit surely helped her compose the Magnificat, she could not have done it without a deep and long relationship with God. She is obviously well-versed with the scripture because the prayer/song bears similarity to the prayer of Hannah, the mother of Prophet Samuel in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 2:1–10). Blessed are the parents who bring up children like Mary and Samuel.
In this song, Mary exposes God as Almighty who can do mighty deeds and as merciful who can reverse human experience so that the humble will be lifted up and the hungry be fed while the rich and the proud will be casted away and be scattered. He is also the God of the past and the future – the God of History.
May this reading teaches us to be ever grateful for all the good things that God has done and is doing in our life and to be ever hopeful that God will eventually do justice to all so that the good will triumph over evil.
See also: Reflection for August 15, 2021