Mary is about 13 when the angel Gabriel announces to her that she is the Mother of God. No wonder this young maiden glorifies God, no wonder her spirit is filled with joy in God. No wonder she recognizes that despite her lowliness, God looks upon her with His grace. Mary’s humility is unmatched. Despite stating that she is blessed above all other women, she recognizes that her blessedness is not due to any action of her own, but only due to God’s own glory.
“And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord; my spirit has found joy in God, who is my Saviour, because he has looked graciously upon the lowliness of his handmaid. Behold, from this day forward all generations will count me blessed; because he who is mighty, he whose name is holy, has wrought for me his wonders.”
We ought to take our cue from Mary. She never speaks of herself as a spiritual giant; she never says to another that she is holy. Rather, she glorifies God.
God glorifies Himself through Mary, making her the ultimate vessel for the Holy Spirit in the form of the Christ child.
“Who is a god like You? You take away guilt, You pass over the sin of the remnant of Your own people, You do not let Your anger rage for ever but delight in love that will not change. Once more You will show us tender affection and wash out our guilt, casting all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show good faith to Jacob, unchanging love to Abraham, as You did swear to our fathers in days gone by.”
“And Mary says: ‘Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord, rejoice, rejoice, my spirit, in God my saviour… His Name is Holy; His mercy sure from generation to generation toward those who fear Him; the deeds His own right arm has done disclose His might: the arrogant of heart and mind He has put to rout, He has brought down monarchs from their thrones, but the humble have been lifted high. The hungry He has satisfied with good things, but the rich sent empty away. He has ranged Himself at the side of Israel His servant; firm in His promise to our forefathers, He has not forgotten to show mercy to Abraham and his children’s children, for ever.’ ” (Luke 1:46-47,49-55)
God does not forget. He remembers His promises. He takes away guilt; He casts all our sins into the sea. His love is unchanging; His mercy sure. He satisfies the hungry; and sends away the rich. He heals the sick; and questions the healthy, saying: “I guess you have no need of Me?” He routs the arrogant; and lifts the humble. He does not forget His promises to the remnant of His people — those He loves and calls according to His purpose.
“And Mary says, ‘Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord, rejoice, rejoice, my spirit in God my saviour; so tenderly has He looked upon His servant, humble as she is. For, from this day forth, all generations will count me blessed, so wonderfully has He dealt with me, the Lord, the Mighty One.’ ”
Mary recognizes the greatness of her God. She knows His tenderness; that He deals with her wonderfully. She claims Him as her saviour; and calls herself His servant. She displays humility even as she knows “all generations will count [her] blessed.” She rejoices from her very core.
In a word, Mary worships her God, who now dwells within her.
Mary says, “He who is mighty has done great things for me.” She gives God the credit and the glory.
She acknowledges that He is holy. She acknowledges her “humble estate” and that she is “His servant.”
Mary also knows that “from now on all generations will call [her] blessed.” In this statement of fact, she is not boasting. She simply acknowledges that “[God] has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate.” (Luke 1: 51 – 52)
Mary sings, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
“Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the godly! Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise His Name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre! For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation.” (Psalm 149: 1 – 4)