Yet when she opened her mouth, at the visitation of her relative Elizabeth, Mary did not speak about her own greatness and glory. The opening words of the Magnificat, “My soul magnifies the Lord,” reveal the passion and devotion of her heart to God.
She was marvelled at how God looked upon her, his servant, in her lowliness. Along with the great privilege, God also adorned Mary with a humble spirit. Her spiritual vision remained clear and unobscured by pride. She is lowly, God is exalted; she is a servant, God is the Lord over all. Her desire was the exultation of God’s holy name for the great things he had done for her.
This does not mean that we cannot admire Mary’s beautiful virtues, especially her humility, faith and obedience to her calling. In so doing we will not detract in the least from the glory of God. When I praise a work of art, I do not show any disrespect to the artist! On the contrary, I honour the artist by admiring his work. In the same way, Mary is God’s masterpiece, and when we joyfully call her blessed, we honour God who made her.
Mary’s beauty shines most brilliantly in the intention of her heart. Her sole desire was to glorify the Lord. We begin to know and understand Mary when we see her as our model and turn our eyes to heaven to magnify the Lord, just like she did.
Yet we will not follow in Mary’s steps unless we taste and see for ourselves that the Lord is good. We must first realise our own lowliness and nothingness, and experience the grace of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. We must first receive the wonderful privilege of becoming servants of the blessed and sovereign Lord. Then, and only then, we would exalt the name of God for the great things he had done for us. The redeemed alone can honestly and joyfully sing, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord!’
(Gospel e-Letter - June 2016)