Psalm: 146 147
Gospel: Luke 1:39-56
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a Commentary on Luke by St. Bede

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin (Psalm 146:6-9)

Tonight we read the Scripture which frames one of the staples for the Daily Office; the Magnificat.

This canticle is recited every night during Evening Prayer and has always had liturgical significance.

Just like Psalm 146, Mary’s song looks forward to what God is doing in the here and now.

He has shown the strength of his arm
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, while the rich he has sent away empty.

When God reveals to Mary that she is about to give birth to the Son of God, everything about the world changed. With the miracle of the Incarnation, God is turning the world upside down. Those who are lost in darkness are given light; those who are considered poor and destitute are proclaimed to be first in the kingdom of God; the untouchables of society are the ones who receive healing…while those who are considered righteous by the rest of society are left in the dust.

Mary’s song of rejoicing is one that we are called to echo night, after night, after night. To remind ourselves that a) there is more to this world than meets the eye, and b) that when God shows up, everything that we thought to be true of the world is cast into a totally different light. Alleluia! + 😀