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The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise

46Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.
50He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.
51His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.
55For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”
56Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.

“My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” Few Christian scholars, theologians or simple Bible readers find Mary to be anything less than an amazingly faithful and virtuous person. (*1) Here she is calling God her Savior. If Mary needed a Savior or Godly proportions, so do I!  Who would be so proud as to think Mary would need a Savior, but they do not. In verses 51 & 52 Mary addresses God’s reaction to the proud – “He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.” Pride is a very terrible thing.

In reality the entire story is about humility. Mary refers to herself as a lowly servant. God does tremendous things, but she claims to have done nothing. God shows mercy, we show pride. God is coming into a poor and humble family to serve the hungry good things and bring down proud princes. Perhaps I should pay attention.  

Lord, make me more humble with each passing day. Show me my sins, weaknesses and failures, not to depress me but so that I may also see the greatness of your mercy and love. Through this give me the courage to bring your mercy and love to those who are depressed because of their sins, weaknesses and failures.

*1 I know we in the Catholic Church believe Mary never sinned, which leads to an entire doctrinal conversation about whether she needed a Savior or not, let’s not get too hung up on that. If you really want to know what I think on this matter email me at danm@preferredinscenter.com