“My soul magnifies the Lord.”

Mary’s Magnificat, Luke 1:46 (NRSV)

Magnificat

Mary broke into song soon after Elizabeth called her blessed. God could not have been more fully present in that amazing moment. Elizabeth, whose unborn son was already filled with the Holy Spirit, Mary, who carried a child conceived by the overshadowing of Almighty God, and now Elizabeth herself filled with the Spirit as she prophesied over Mary. God in Three Persons literally filled these two mothers, the aging wife of an elderly priest and a young, unmarried girl.

It is no wonder Mary’s soul brimmed over with worship, for within her was the unborn Messiah, Jesus, fearfully and wonderfully made, whom God had knit together in secret before even Mary knew He was there. Perhaps Mary spread her hands over her still-flat stomach, knowing in wonderment than within her was the only begotten Son of God the Father. He would be born like any person, yet Jesus alone held within Him the divine glory of God.

Over the ensuing months, Mary would experience Jesus’s life growing within her, close to her heart. Once born, Mary would be the most intimately connected with God the Son, first through the throes of labor and birth, then by breast-feeding Him, bathing Him, changing His diapers, teaching Him, guiding Him, comforting Him. Imagine the small and vulnerable Messiah on her lap, falling asleep to the lullaby of her Magnificat.

Mary received Gabriel’s message with humble, willing faith in God, and indeed, she was among the first to see God in the flesh.

Christmas Carol

Frankincense to offer have I;
incense owns a Deity nigh;
prayer and praising, voices raising,
worshiping God on high.

O star of wonder, star of light,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.

“We Three Kings” John Henry Hopkins Jr. (1857)

Prayer

Thank You, Jesus, for purifying our hearts and for making God known to us. Seeing You we see the Lord. (John 1:18)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Jesus’s Beatitudes, Matthew 5:8 (NRSV)
James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Adoration of the Magi (L’adoration des mages), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 9 15/16 x 8 1/8 in. (25.2 x 20.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.32 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.32_PS1.jpg)


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