Prior to Mary’s song, the angel Gabriel announced that she would give birth
to Jesus, Son of God and Messiah. Now with her song, she praises God for
what has been done in her life and what will be done for humanity in God’s
good time. The verbs are in past tense, as though the deeds mentioned have
already been accomplished. But the point is made: The deeds are certain
and will be carried out. Those with power and riches will be judged; the lowly
and the hungry will have places of honor and abundance.
Martin Luther King Jr. declared, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but
it bends toward justice.” Whether in the long story of the human race, this
statement is a simple hope or a verifiable fact, the effect of Mary's song is
to provide us with a fresh perspective, aligned with the reign of God. Mary's
song prompts us to acts that correspond to the goodness it forsees. The
struggle for justice is never over, because of human sinfulness, but must be
carried on in every generation with God’s reign in view.
God of Abraham, Mary, and all the saints: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on
earth as in heaven. Amen.