The news which the angel Gabriel brings to Mary about her conceiving the Saviour causes her heart to overflow with joy, moving her to respond to the news with spontaneous song. Her song involves a feeling so profound that it invites a closer look. Is it really a spontaneous song in the sense that it hasn’t been sung before? Granted, the version that Mary sings is new, but the basic song is not.
Before we consider the praiseful nature of Mary’s song, let us see who sang other versions of it. Mary’s song echoes Hannah’s song when she thanked God for the birth of her son Samuel. Moreover, the psalmist who penned the 18th and the 113rd psalms is praising the same attributes of God that Mary does: God’s mercy, sovereignty and caring nature, qualities which God showed and continues to show to the lowly and downtrodden. Mary picks up this tradition on the occasion of the good news from the angel Gabriel, God’s messenger of hope to humankind. This is the kind of hope that God has shown in the past and will continue to show in the future. No wonder Mary considers herself blessed!
God of faithfulness and mercy, help us remember your work among us, and help us remember to praise you. Amen. — AEA