The Washington Post recently ran a lengthy story on the Magnificat, the song that Mary sings in Luke 1: 46-55. The song is more than 2,000 years old and has been an important part of Christian liturgy for nearly all of those years. Here is the full text of the Magnificat:
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever. (Luke 1: 46-55, NSRV)
Mary’s song presents a strong argument for the LDS Church to develop a liberation theology. Bring down the rich and elevate the poor.
According to LDS writer Michael Austin:
The Magnificat is a beautiful and self-contained poem that is also a revolutionary prophecy. Mary generalizes: raising poor and insignificant people to great heights is what God does. It is the essence of His sovereignty. And the flip side of this is also important: He reduces wealthy and powerful people to insignificance. His Kingdom dramatically reverses the organizing logic of human societies.
Pope Francis insists that more needs to be done for the poor:
A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table.
And a few years ago, President Monson added a fourth mission for the LDS Church: “Care for the poor and needy.”
During this holiday season, we need to look at the teachings that are at the heart of Christianity. The LDS Church and its members need to do more for the poor.