Luke 1:46b–55 (NRSV)
Verse 46And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, Verse 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, Verse 48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; Verse 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Verse 50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Verse 51He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. Verse 52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; Verse 53he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. Verse 54He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, Verse 55according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."
Mary spoke these words when she was young, unmarried, and pregnant—not an ideal situation in the ancient world. She was blessed because God chose her, and she accepted the call. She willingly took on an enormous burden. The burden of uncertainty, the burden of carrying a child she did not plan to carry; later the burden of seeing her beloved son die. I sometimes wonder about her heartbreak at the cross. We know she was there, standing near her child. Did she recall these words that she spoke when she was young? Did she know he would be raised? Did she wonder what all this was for, that she should see her son die like that?
Then Jesus rose from the dead. The gospel narrative of the Bible does not record just how Mary reacted, though I wonder if once again she recalled these words—this time when she seemed to be with full understanding and gratitude.
Glorious God, we cannot fully understand your goodness, your beauty, or your faithfulness, but we pray that we, like Mary, may rejoice in your favor forever. Amen.