The song, O Magnum Mysterium, is typically sung in Latin and was inspired by what is now called Mary’s Magnificat. But her song was not sung after the birth of her son, but rather just after her relative, Elizabeth (pregnant with the boy who would come to be known as John the Baptist), gave a confirmation to Mary that she would, indeed, give birth to God’s only begotten Son, just as Gabriel had said she would.[ii]


A Day Like Any Other?
Mary, like Zechariah, was simply going about the doing the day-to-day stuff, though in Mary’s case, she was getting ready for her wedding to Joseph. Tradition tells us that she was at the only well in Nazareth, drawing water, when the angel came to her.[iii]


“Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus….”


“How will this be…since I am a virgin….”


“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you….”[iv]


Could Someone Else Have Done This?
Have you ever wondered if Mary was the first girl Gabriel went to? What if he’d gone to others and they’d said, “I can’t do this. Would you mind, terribly — and respectfully of course — asking someone else? I hear Mary down the block is fairly open to trying new things.”


And by the way, what would you have said?


Based on Mary’s response we know she accepted that it would be but wondered how it would be. This is unlike Zechariah who doubted that it could be. Gabriel explained that by herself she could not bring Messiah into the world; it was only by the power of the Holy Spirit.


How many times have you read the word “power” and thought little of it? Probably as many times as you have turned a light switch on. It takes power — electrical power — to do the everyday things we take for granted (until we have an outage, that is…). But Mary would not have taken this kind of power for granted. This was POWER!!!


The Greek word is dunamis; we get the word “dynamite” from it.