Mary’s Fiat

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.
(Luke 1:46-56)

Scripture Study

Mary’s Magnificat canticle is a poem of singular beauty. It evokes certain passages of the Old Testament with which she would have been very familiar (especially 1 Sam 2:1–10). Three stanzas may be distinguished in the canticle:

1:46–50. Mary glorifies God for making her the Mother of the Savior, which is why future generations will call her blessed; she shows that the Incarnation is a mysterious expression of God’s power and holiness and mercy.

1:51–53. Mary teaches us that the Lord has always had a preference for the humble, resisting the proud and boastful.

1:54–55. Mary proclaims that God, in keeping with his promise, has always taken special care of his chosen people—and now does them the greatest honor of all by becoming a Jew (cf. Rom 1:3).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, today’s Gospel explains the significance of Mary’s fiat. By far, the most important Advent figure is Mary of Nazareth, the Mother of God, for Mary sums up in her person the whole of the people Israel, the nation whose whole purpose was to prepare for the coming of the Lord. In the face of the evil, injustice, stupidity, and sin that were marring his beautiful creation, God resolved to choose a people and to form them according to his heart so that they could be the vehicle of his presence to the world. From this people would come, as a sort of flowering, the Messiah.

Thus, Mary recapitulates the story of Israel, the story of redemption. We can, as it were, read the whole Old Testament in her. As the true Israel, she knows what to do, and she does it with enthusiasm. No dawdling, back-pedaling, straying, or complaining: she moves, she goes. And she goes upon the heights, which is exactly where God had always summoned Israel so that it could be a light to the nations.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.