You can see all the lectionary readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C by clicking here. I have chosen to discuss the passage from the Gospel of Luke.
Mary travels to another town to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth feels her unborn baby leap up inside her at Mary’s voice and she is filled with the Holy Spirit.
She proclaims to Mary that she is blessed more than any other woman and that God has blessed her baby. She tells Mary that her baby jumped for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice. She says, “Great blessings are yours because you believed what the Lord said to you! You believed this would happen.”
This is Mary’s response–her Magnificat (song of praise.
“I praise the Lord with all my heart.Luke 1:46-55 (Easy-to-read version)
I am very happy because God is my Savior.
I am not important,
but he has shown his care for me, his lowly servant.
From now until the end of time,
people will remember how much God blessed me.
Yes, the Powerful One has done great things for me.
His name is very holy.
He always gives mercy
to those who worship him.
He reached out his arm and showed his power.
He scattered those who are proud and think great things about themselves.
He brought down rulers from their thrones
and raised up the humble people.
He filled the hungry with good things,
but he sent the rich away with nothing.
God has helped Israel—the people he chose to serve him.
He did not forget his promise to give us his mercy.
He has done what he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
Mary has obviously come to terms with the big news the angel Gabriel brought her. She is young and inexperienced; she has every reason to be terrified, but she is full of hope and trust that God knows what he is doing. She knows she is blessed and she celebrates the blessing and the hope that comes with it.