Mary visits Elizabeth

With the time drawing near when Elizabeth would give birth, Mary travelled south to visit her. The honour that Elizabeth gave to Mary at their meeting was symbolic of the honour that John would give to Jesus (Luke 1:39-45).

Mary’s song of praise reflects her total submission and deep gratitude to God for what he was doing through her. The song (sometimes called the ‘Magnificat’, from the opening words in the Latin version) has many similarities to the song of Hannah, whose son Samuel was also a gift from God in unusual circumstances (cf. 1 Sam 2:1-10). Mary begins by recalling God’s love in choosing her, an ordinary human being, to be the means of bringing his blessing to humankind (Luke 1:46-49). God did not use the rich, the mighty or the proud, but the poor and lowly who feared him (Luke 1:50-53). In showing grace to Mary and mercy to Israel, God was being faithful to the promises he gave to Israel’s ancestors (Luke 1:54-56; cf. Gen 12:1-3).

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