21 December 2009
Today’s Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-18/Luke 1:39-45
In today’s brief passage the stories of Elizabeth and Mary, indirectly of John and Jesus, intersect. The two women take center stage. Inspired by the Spirit, Elizabeth declares the fruit of Mary’s womb blessed. Mary is blessed because she will bear the child and because she has been a willing participant in the divine initiative. The word “blessed” [makarios in Greek] literally means “happiness” or “beatitude”. It describes a kind of joy which is serene and untouchable, self-contained, and independent from chance and changing circumstances of life. Blessed are you if you see and recognize the Lord with the “eyes of faith”.
There is a certain paradox for those “blessed” by the Lord. Mary was given the “blessedness” of being the mother of the Son of God. That blessedness also would become a sword which pierced her heart as her Son died upon the cross. While we may never have experienced an encounter with the angel Gabriel, we have received a host of promises from God which can be accepted only by faith. However, our faith remains small and often unblessed until we begin to act on that faith. That active faith then opens the door for God’s blessing and confirmation.
Father Almighty, fill me with your Holy Spirit and give me joy in seeking you more closely. Increase my faith in all your promises, my hope in the joys of heaven, and my love for You as my All. Give me courage to obey your commands and to respond to your promises in faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.