Christmas, Mary’s Magnificat, beautifully prefigured in the Old Testament


Hannah is the barren woman of Israel longing for the son that would fulfill her. Realizing that she is at last with child, her heart cries out to the Lord, with gratitude and joy:

1Samuel  2:1-10
My heart hath rejoiced in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies: because I have joyed in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord is: for there is no other beside thee, and there is none strong like our God. Do not multiply to speak lofty things, boasting: let old matters depart from your mouth: for the Lord is a God of all knowledge, and to him are thoughts prepared. The bow of the mighty is overcome, and the weak are girt with strength. They that were full before, have hired out themselves for bread: and the hungry are filled, so that the barren hath borne many: and she that had many children is weakened. The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell, and bringeth back again. The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, he humbleth and he exalteth:  He raiseth up the needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the dunghill: that he may sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. For the poles of the earth are the Lord’s, and upon them he hath set the world. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; because no man shall prevail by his own strength. The adversaries of the Lord shall fear him: and upon them shall he thunder in the heavens: The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth, and he shall give empire to his king, and shall exalt the horn of his Christ.

Hannah’s son became the great prophet Samuel, one of only two prophets that God singled out for special mention in the the Old Testament scriptures, the man who was given the singular honor of anointing David, who was the first of the Royal House of which Jesus is the eternal King.


Some 900 years later, we find a young maiden of Nazareth being hailed by an angel, who asks her to become the mother of the Messiah, the one who would fulfill the eternal destiny of Israel and that of the whole world. Not suprisingly, Mary’s heart also cried out to the Lord in gratitude and joy, as she recalled Hannah’s words, and became their eternal fulfillment:

Luke 1:46-55
And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy. As he spoke to our fathers: to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

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