Readings: 1 Samuel 1:24-28; Luke 1:45-56
Whether you consider the Magnificat the words of Mary, the composition of the Evangelist or a prayer of the early Church, I believe it is the confession of a woman’s heart.
One could, I imagine, interpret it as dependence on male patronage, but I don’t think that is what Mary is saying.
I say it’s a woman’s prayer because she perceives the connectedness, the organic web of relationships in her life–both here on earth and beyond the here and now–that gives her a voice. If she mentions the Lord and Abraham or our fathers, she does not do so in slavish subjection but as a young woman bridging the gap to the opposite gender. She engages the “Other,” yet with restraint, bypassing facile physical connection to meet emotionally, intentionally, spiritually, enriched and empowered by the communion.
While the meeting is mutual, not subservient, she is so maturely balanced that she admits she has not invented herself. Nor is she the focus of her existence. She overflows with the joy and energy of the connection that gives her hope and a foundation for her almost impossible status and mission.