And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord … – Luke 1:46-50 and 54-55

*   *   *

The Angel Gabriel makes another appearance, six months after rendering Zacharias speechless. This time, he tells an astonished young woman she’s pregnant, her denials to the contrary. (I was about to ask who can argue with an angel, anyway, but then we have the example of Zacharias being struck dumb.)

Mary, obviously retaining the ability to speak, flees to her cousin Elisabeth, whose “babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost” on being greeted (Luke 1:41). What then ensues is the brief “Song of Mary,” or Magnificat, that opens with the astonishing lines, “My soul magnifies the Lord.”

*   *   *

And so the Creature finds Acceptance with the Father through the Son. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)


How, after all, can anyone enlarge God? (Some translations instead interpret this as praises or exalts the Lord, which somehow diminishes the incomprehensible dynamic of Mary’s experience.) Something big, very big, is about to happen, and she’s at the center of it.


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