Read Luke 1:46-49.
"My Soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant [. . .]
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty" (Luke 1:47-48, 52-53).
In the first two chapters of Luke's Gospel, words seem to be
everywhere. The annunciation of Christ's coming is surrounded by poetry and
proclamation. Two miraculous births, Jesus' and his forerunner John the Baptist's,
are announced by angels and accompanied by prophecies in the most unlikely of places --
not among the elite, powerful, trend-setting makers of culture, but among two parts of a
poor family. The two mothers-to-be, one past child-bearing age and the other still a
virgin, seem amazed at being at the center of it all. The young poet Mary's initial
response is but a few brief phrases: "I am the Lord's servant; May it be to me as you
have said." Elizabeth's greeting, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is
the child you will bear!" further explicates what and who Mary has been entrusted
Mary's later song, which church tradition has dubbed the Magnificat,
builds on this initial pledge of complete faith. It expands upon it by realizing the
earlier commitment's implications. Mary, following the Old Testament's predications
of the Messiah, not only affirms in more detail who God is and what this means but
also perhaps in her Spirit-inspired signing, she comes to more fully understand the
message itself. From her initial "May it be to me" comes the knowledge
that Jesus will alter the old order entirely.
It seems only fitting that when Christ the Word comes, that in words
we come to know him. And this gift of language is so often needed to know God at