From the Word of the Day
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. (Luke 1: 46-48)
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. We will meditate on Mary’s Canticle that is narrated in today’s Gospel. It can be defined as the “song of all marvels”. In it resounds in anticipation the very voice of Jesus in His Gospel: the greatness of the humble; the blessing of the poor; the upset worked by the hand of the Lord in raising up the poor and in making low the powerful; the joy of those whom the world ignores. Is not all that Mary announces in her song exactly what the Beatitudes and the Discourse on the Mountain promulgate in the discourses of Jesus? Is not Mary’s canticle already the prelude to the tone and emphasis that Jesus’ discourses will assume? The Magnificat anticipates in the song of the Mother, what the Son will say in His hymn of praise to the Father who fills the little ones and humble with grace, “I give you thanks, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to the little ones”? (Cf. Luke 19: 21).
Just as it is already Christ that we hear in His Mother, so too do we hear His echo in the Old Testament that prepares for Him. The Magnificat is comprised totally of Old Testament citations.
The Mother of the Savior speaks as the Daughter and Queen of the patriarchs and prophets. This intimate rapport with the Son, described very well in her song, recalls the Old Testament and is a prelude to the New Testament. It becomes a very personal work, unique in its genre, and spontaneous, so much so that it has become familiar to all Christian people.
Let us make Mary’s Canticle our own on this feast of her Visitation. Let us sing it in the depths of our heart with Mary’s exaltation.
The Voice of France Quéré, 1936-1995, French Author and Theologian of our times
The Magnificat is the song of all marvels…Mary weaves together fragments of the Scripture, taking from the books of Samuel, Psalms, Isaiah, Job, Micah. This great Woman is an open Bible. She draws from the silence of the parchments and lends it her innocent and clear voice. The ancient words rise up like a young cry…Yes, the Magnificent merits her name. It is the poem of all dilatations.