Homilies on Luke: Fragments on Luke

By Joseph T. Lienhard; Origen | Go to book overview

HOMILY 8 Luke 1.46-51

On the passage from, "My soul magnifies the Lord," up to the point where it says, "He gave strength to those who fear him."

ELIZABETH PROPHESIES before John; before the birth of the Lord and Savior, Mary prophesies. Sin began from the woman and then spread to the man. In the same way, salvation had its first beginnings from women.1. Thus the rest of women can also lay aside the weakness of their sex and imitate as closely as possible the lives and conduct of these holy women whom the Gospel now describes. Let us consider the Virgin's prophecy. She says, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior."2. Two subjects, "soul" and "spirit," carry out a double praise. The soul praises the Lord, the spirit praises God. This is not because the praise of the Lord differs from the praise of God, but because he who is God is also Lord, and he who is Lord is also God.

2. We ask how a soul can magnify the Lord.3. The Lord can undergo neither increase nor loss. He is what he is. Thus, why does Mary now say, "My soul magnifies the Lord"? I need to consider that the Lord and Savior is "the image of the invisible God,"4. and realize that my soul is made "in the Creator's image,"5. so that it is an image of the Image. My soul is not directly

____________________
1.
Cf. Sir 25.24, and Ambrose, Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke 2.28.
2.
Lk 1.46-47.
3.
Origen here plays on the literal sense of the Greek word μεγαλύνειν, which means "to magnify," "to make great." (The same is true of magnificare, the word Jerome uses.) He asks how the soul can magnify God--that is, make God great. He answers that God can be made greater only in the sense that the soul that praises him can "grow."
4.
Col 1.15.
5.
Cf. Gn 1.26-27. Origen thinks of the Word, "through whom all things were made" ( Jn 1.3), and not of the Father, as the Creator.

-33-

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Homilies on Luke: Fragments on Luke
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Title Page vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Select Bibliography xi
  • Introduction xv
  • Homilies on Luke 1
  • Preface of Jerome the Presbyter 3
  • Homily 1 Luke 1.1-4 5
  • Homily 2 Luke 1.6 10
  • Homily 3 Luke 1.11 14
  • Homily 4 Luke 1.13-17 17
  • Homily 5 Luke 1.22 20
  • Homily 6 Luke 1.24-32 23
  • Homily 7 Luke 1.39-45 28
  • Homily 8 Luke 1.46-51 33
  • Homily 9 Luke 1.56-64 37
  • Homily 10 Luke 1.67-76 40
  • Homily 11 Luke 1.80-2.2 44
  • Homily 12 Luke 2.8-11 48
  • Homily 13 Luke 2.13-16 52
  • Homily 14 Luke 2.21-24 56
  • Homily 15 Luke 2.25-29 62
  • Homily 16 Luke 2.33-34 65
  • Homily 17 Luke 2.33-38 70
  • Homily 18 Luke 2.40-49 76
  • Homily 19 Luke 2.40.4-6 80
  • Homily 20 Luke 2.49-51 84
  • Homily 21 Luke 3.1-4 88
  • Homily 22 Luke 3.5-8 92
  • Homily 23 Luke 3.9-12 97
  • Homily 24 Luke 3.15-16 103
  • Homily 25 Luke 3.15 105
  • Homily 26 Luke 3. 16-17 109
  • Homily 27 Luke 3.18-22 112
  • Homily 28 Luke 3.23-38 115
  • Homily 29 Luke 4.1-4 119
  • Homily 30 Luke 4.5-8 123
  • Homily 31 Luke 4.9-12 125
  • Homily 32 Luke 4.14-20 130
  • Homily 33 Luke 4.23-27 134
  • Homily 34 Luke 10.25-37 137
  • Homily 35 Luke 12.57-59 142
  • Homily 36 Luke 17.20-21, 33 151
  • Homily 37 Luke 19.29-40 153
  • Homily 38 Luke 19.41-45 156
  • Homily 39 Luke 20.21-40 159
  • Fragments on Luke 163
  • Indices 229
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