Mary’s Magnificat

Mary’s song, the Magnificat, is a powerful, joyous song of praise that tells both of God’s love and is a challenge to us and all who try to live a life worthy of the Gospel of Christ.  This morning will be a reflection on Mary’s words as we go deeper into her revolutionary spirit and understanding of God.

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,

And my joy is overflowing,

That to keep it from spilling out would be impossible,

This honour that God has given to me makes

My praise leap from my body and

My heart dance, 

Spinning and twirling with Gods.

And my swelling belly will magnify, will make bigger and visible that

Invisible image of God, 

Who will become so important that people won’t help

But be drawn into their fullest and truest selves.

A mirror of grace and truth

Radiating pure delight

Because I know that I am loved.

I know that I am seen.

for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

I know that I am noticed,

Along with all those who walk about unseen,

The women, the slaves, the poor, the marginalised, the persecuted,

All are seen and welcomed by our God.

And our voices join together with those voices heard in Scripture,

With Hagar, Leah and Hannah,

With Deborah and Miriam,

Our lowliness granted favour as our spirits unite.

All generations will call me blessed

Because there are no spare people, 

No one goes forgotten or unnoticed by God.

Even in my smallness, even in my lowliness

Across all of time and space

My blessing rings out.

for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory,

And that glory resides inside of me

as I carry the light of the world,

Our saviour, in my heart and womb.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

Hosanna in the highest

There is no Holy one like the Lord,

No one besides you.

And Holy is your name.

His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.

And I am unafraid in my fearfulness

Knowing that you are good and full of grace.

No sin, no pain, no foolishness

Can hide me from your loving gaze.

And I am unafraid in my fearfulness

Knowing that all who come after me

Can trust in your loving-kindness,

Your infinite mercy,

Your desire to love us when we cannot love ourselves.

I know your love will reach me

And those I love

And those they love

And keep on reaching farther and farther out

Until all are fearfully unafraid.

He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

And a catastrophic convulsion will ripple across the world

The playing field will be levelled

As the world gets turned upside down.

But I know you’re thinking ‘when’

‘How long, O Lord, how long’?

Because this scattering does not seem to be happening

And injustice is all around us

As we pray and hope for salvation, equality, reconciliation for all.

And there are people suffering on the margins,

Who are begging us to help and draw them in.

And we are called to welcome all and pray for wisdom.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;

God has lifted us up,

Given us a king with a crown of thorns

And throne of joy-filled love.

And I will sing the lyrics of God’s abundance,

And I will teach the church to sing along with me,

Proclaiming these subversive words

And challenging all to sing

Evening after evening, day after day

Until all our myths of scarcity

Have disappeared, fear abated in the

Extravagance of God’s unending love.

Because we need to lift up each other 

To gaze upon God’s glorious face.

he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

We proclaim a Gospel of liberation, bringing hope to those

Who mourn, who are hungry, who are poor

Who wait in queues at foodbanks,

Who wait in queues at jobcentres,

Who wait in queues for universal credit,

Who wait in queues in detention centres,

Who wait in queues dreaming of equality,

Who wait in queues until all are willing to trust

That God has given us bread enough for all the world.

Who are we reaching out for,

In forgotten corners of the world

To fill with good things?

Who are we to feed so that no one goes unnoticed?

He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,

according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

And never did I think that God’s promise

Could ever, would ever

Be fulfilled by a baby born of a woman, born under the law.

A baby cradled in hope for all the world,

A walking, talking, breathing sign of mercy and grace,

A sign and promise of God’s relationship with all God’s people,

Completing our story from long ago

And though we sometimes try to live as if we don’t need God,

We know now that God has remembered us

And started a new hope, a new light

A new heaven and a new earth.

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God our Saviour,

for the Mighty One has done great things for us,
and holy is God’s name.


Cara Smart is Assistant Curate of St Paul, Wokingham in the Diocese of Oxford.

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