The Almighty has done great things for me! (Luke 1:49)
The Mighty One indeed did great things for Mary! Thus, Mary’s beautiful hymn of praise sprang from a heart filled with awe at God’s greatness and at the greatness of his work in her. This humble daughter of Israel didn’t confuse God’s choice of her to be the mother of God’s Son with any merit of her own. Rather, she recognized that God had “looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant” (Luke 1:48) and gave him all the credit. With all her heart and soul, Mary magnified and glorified the Lord by proclaiming his greatness (1:46). Marveling at the profound mystery being wrought within her, she rejoiced in her Savior (1:47).
In just a few days, we will celebrate the birth of the Word made flesh, the fulfillment of the word the angel spoke to Mary. What could better prepare us and open our hearts to receive this Savior than for us to follow Mary’s example and spend these days magnifying the Lord and rejoicing in him?
Pondering God’s goodness, reading Scripture to recall his promises to us, thinking about him often throughout the day—these are all ways to magnify the Lord, ways to make him bigger and bigger in our hearts and minds. We glorify him when we praise him, recount his blessings to us, and thank him for them. We glorify him when we testify to the work he has done in us and share about him with those around us. Just as the Incarnation of Christ in her womb led Mary to magnify the Lord and rejoice, so God’s great works in our lives lead us to praise God and to delight in his goodness and mercy toward us.
Over the next four days, pray Mary’s Magnificat. Make it your own as you call to mind the particular ways God has “looked with favor” on you and done wonderful things for you. As St. Ambrose, one of the Fathers of the Church, wrote, “Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each of you to rejoice in the Lord.”
“How great you are, my mighty Savior and Lord! I join my heart and voice with Mary’s to proclaim your praises and to rejoice in your goodness and kindness to me.”
Word Among Us