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Friends, in today’s Gospel, we hear the Magnificat—Mary’s great hymn of praise to Yahweh.

The hymn commences with the simple declaration, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” Mary announces here that her whole being is ordered to the glorification of God. Her ego wants nothing for itself; it wants only to be an occasion for giving honor to God. But since God needs nothing, whatever glory Mary gives to him returns to her benefit, so that she is magnified in the very act of magnifying him. In giving herself away fully to God, Mary becomes a superabundant source of life; indeed, she becomes pregnant with God.

This odd and wonderful rhythm of magnifying and being magnified is the key to understanding everything about Mary, from her divine motherhood to her Immaculate Conception and Assumption to her mission in the life of the Church.