English-speaking church in Eindhoven

Magnificat: A Revolutionary Hymn

Within Luke’s narrative of Jesus’ infancy, Mary’s song, commonly known as the Magnificat, stands as one of three significant hymns. The other two are Zachariah’s Benedictus (Lk 1:67-79) and Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis (Lk 2:28-32). Mary’s lyrical composition is revolutionary, addressing moral, social, economic, political, and spiritual transformation. Her extensive references to the Old Testament echo the style of Hannah’s song in I Samuel, prompting contemplation on Mary’s profound biblical knowledge acquired at a young age.

In essence, Mary’s song reflects her gratitude for the transformative role God has played in her life. Her recognition of God’s plan marks a pivotal revelation, shaping her understanding of the divine order. Mary perceives this pattern as a universal modus operandi employed by God in the world. Most of her song is dedicated to describing the nature of God, emphasizing His holiness This holiness manifests in God’s impartiality, a stark contrast to the world’s inclination to elevate the powerful and influential. Instead, God uplifts the lowly and humbles the proud.

Mary’s heart brims with joy as she celebrates God’s inclination to show mercy to those who fear Him, elevate those of lowly stature, and fill the hungry with goodness. The repetition of these themes underscores Mary’s praise for God’s impartiality, a divine quality that transcends favoritism toward the rich, powerful, or proud. Mary boldly declares that the advent of Jesus Christ heralds a revolutionary change in the world.

In essence, Mary’s song conveys a profound message about the transformative potential inherent in the Christmas narrative. It serves as a reminder that the spirit of Christmas carries the promise of revolutionary change, both in individual lives and the broader world. May we, in our reflections on this season, make room for Jesus to bring about such transformative change! God bless!