Steeped as he was in Scriptures, Luke would know that God’s greatest act—the sending of his Son in the fullness of time — would have to be celebrated in a song. For minstrel, he has found someone most fitting, one who had experienced God’s saving action in a very personal way: Mary of Nazareth. The result is the song Magnificat. The song celebrates the favors of the Lord who remembers his promises to the patriarchs and the prophets, and crowns his saving acts with the sending of his Son, the Savior of the world.
Mary’s song is also an inspired announcement of what God has done to his people in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The Magnificat interprets not just the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, but also the Gospel that he would preach as a grown man. Very clear in the song is the theme of “reversal.” The Lord lifts up the lowly and humbles the proud. Mary speaks like the prophets of old, “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.” For Luke, this is the heart of the Gospel of Jesus.
GOSPEL • Lk 1:46-56
Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed; the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home
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