Today’s reading is first part of the Magnificat, and in Beginnings and Endings, Maggi Dawn recalls the impact of hearing those words sung daily in the chapel at King’s College, Cambridge. I had much the same experience in my time at Oxford and for me too it changed how I read and hear the Magnificat.
These words which Mary sings occur at a specific moment in time, and relate to that specific moment, that temporal aspect of the incarnation. That is what the “now” in “from now on” refers to. But they are also true for us now, “for all generations” and in all times and places and situations, because the truth of the incarnation in which Mary’s song rejoices is eternal.
Whatever is going on in my life, however little I feel like rejoicing, those words of the Magnificat are true: “my soul magnifies the Lord … the Mighty One has done great things for me”. And because that is always true, there is always hope. Wishes may come and go, aspirations may change and develop or be thwarted, but in Christ we always have hope.