Mary’s song does not just rejoice in the promises of God that have been and will be fulfilled, nor is it simply an expression of thanks. If we are called to have God-like lives, the Magnificat tells us exactly what that means. God is not the protector of the rich and powerful; nor should we be. God does not let beloved children go hungry; neither should we. God does not just call the saintly and the worthy; God calls us, in all our imperfections. It can be hard to commit to this vision of God’s community, when we cheer the downfall of the proud, and at the same time are forced to acknowledge the extent of our own pride. Even Mary, a paragon of humility, knows that taking from the rich and giving to the poor is not something we can do on our own. Mary is single and poor and pregnant, in a society that would make her an outcast, but her immediate reaction to God’s call is full of joy and hope, and her faith shows us that although following her son may sometimes be feel too difficult, and uncomfortable, and anything but joyful, it will never be hopeless, because we will never be walking alone.
God, while we remember the hope of your promises to us, help us to also remember the ways that you call us to be hope for the hopeless, and to work to achieve your vision of justice and peace for people who seem to be most unlike us as well as for our friends and neighbors. May we have both joy and humility like Mary, as we celebrate the humble and joyful birth of your son. Amen.