The Magnificat

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My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior. Luke 1:46-47

When Mary was pregnant with Jesus, she went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was also pregnant, in her old age, with John, who would later be called, the Baptist. When Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb “lept for joy” and Elizabeth said to Mary, “Blessed are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

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The “fruit” of Mary’s womb was, of course, Jesus, the Son of God, and the savior of the world. The promise of the Lord that she had heard from the Angel Gabriel had been fulfilled in her. Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s greeting is one of the most beautiful prayers in all of Holy Scripture. It begins as follows:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
And my spirit exults in God my savior;
Because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
For the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name….”

The rest of this beautiful prayer can be found by reading Luke 1: 46-55

Through Mary’s “yes,” humanity, which had fallen through the error of one man, Adam, could rise again through the life and death of another man, Jesus. Because Mary said yes to God, Jesus became flesh and was made man. Mary shows us how we are to respond to God in faith, each and every day of our lives, so that he might enter the world again and again through our very lives. Let us, then, say yes to God as Mary did, so that others can come to know the Incarnate Jesus today in and through us. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.