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.
One of the first films I ever saw at the cinema was The Sound of Music. I loved the opening scene where Maria runs up a steep hill and then (seemingly not out of breath!) belts out, ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music…’ It is a film that has become a staple of festive viewing for its sheer joyfulness. Almost 2000 years earlier, Maria’s namesake also burst into song on meeting her cousin Elizabeth – a song borne out of her deep emotion. It is poetry at its finest, as the pregnant Mary is given profound insights as to the nature of her unborn son. She foresees that her child will fulfil the promises given to Abraham by God; an anointed one who will eventually establish justice and peace for ever. It is the start of humanity being reconciled to God…though there will be mountains to climb, by-ways to follow and streams to ford, the journey has begun! Let us too raise our voices in joyful advent song.