Q: What is the Magnificat? Isn’t that Mary’s song? How are her words even relevant to me?
A: Yes, the Magnificat, named after the first word of its Latin lyrics (“[My soul] magnifies”) is the song (or canticle) of Mary. After Gabriel told her she would be the mother of God’s Son, the long-awaited Messiah, Mary rushed to visit her cousin Elizabeth and share this amazing news. It was with Elizabeth that Mary sang this song.
Since we usually associate Gabriel and pregnant Mary with Advent, it might seem strange to sing Mary’s canticle in the absence of snow and Christmas lights – but the Magnificat is relevant to us all year, every year! It talks about how our mighty God looks at us humans – who are small, weak, and utterly sinful – and freely gives us His grace and love. He has regarded our lowliness, given us mercy, filled our hunger with good things, and remembered His promises to us. This isn’t just Mary’s song – it is our song. It is the song of the Church as she waits on her faithful God, who always fulfills His Word.