Our Gospel reading this Sunday is from Luke 1:39-55. Actually, the clergy have the option of stopping at vs 45 or including 46-55. As this entry is part of our Lectionary Series and the Advent mini-series, we’ve decided to include the entire reading. You may like to review our study notes in our regular study series through the Harmony of the Gospels in weeks 5 and 6 (covering sections 5,6,7).
Strangely this week’s Gospel reading goes backward in time, as last week we read from Luke 3-7-18. However, both of these readings fall within the first phase of Jesus’ life and ministry.
Section 5 | Jesus’ Birth Foretold to Mary
26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!” 29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and give birth to a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. 36 Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing spoken by God is impossible.” 38 Mary said, “Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”The angel departed from her.
Section 6 | Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s Song
39 Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!”
Section 7 | Mary’s Song of Joy
46 Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord. 47 My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked at the humble state of his servant. For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed. 49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him. 51 He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down princes from their thrones. And has exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers,to Abraham and his offspring forever.” 56 Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her house.