Daily Reflection – 8/15/19
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” And Mary said, “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.” And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. (Luke 1: 39-56)
Mary, partially enlightened by her heartfelt knowledge of God’s plan as revealed in the Old Testament scriptures, could not see clearly how God’s plans would work themselves out in the end. Even so, humbly and trustingly she put her faith in them, and for that wise faith she was “blessed among women,” as Elizabeth exclaimed. The Lord is constantly hoping that we will put our trust in him in the same way, so that he can shower his blessings upon us as well.
We glimpse Mary’s vision of reality, in which God rules all things with perfect power and with a wisdom that confounds the vain ambition of men. Humility, a serene recognition of our utter dependence on God, unleashes the power of divine grace in the world. Those who depend on themselves – the rich, the self-satisfied, the proud, the powerful – thwart God’s action in and through them. This is Mary’s secret – and it is a secret no longer. She teaches it to all who are willing to learn.
How humble Mary must have been! Unspoiled, uncontaminated by original sin and the slew of selfish tendencies it sets loose in our souls. But Mary shows us so much more.
God is already caring for us long before we realize it. He has had a plan in mind for us, a particular vocation, a unique role in his Kingdom, from before we were born, before we were ever conceived. In discovering and living out that plan we find our true and lasting joy. Why else is John the Baptist able to “leap for joy” while he is still in his mother’s womb? Only because God had made him the herald, the precursor, the one who would announce the imminent manifestation of the Messiah – this was his God-given mission in life, his vocation. Before he is aware of it, he is already fulfilling it.
Likewise, before we hear God’s call in our life, he is already preparing us to follow it – and hoping that when the call comes, we will respond generously, so that he can make our hearts leap continually with joy until he welcomes us into his heavenly Kingdom.
Prayer of The Day
Mary, my Mother, teach me your secret. Teach me to be truly humble, truly great in God’s eyes, so that my life will bear fruit for Christ’s Kingdom
Today’s Gospel highlights Mary’s faith. Mary’s faith enabled her to recognize the work of God in her people’s history and in her own life. Her openness to God allowed God to work through her so that salvation might come to all. Mary is a model and symbol of the Church. May we be like Mary, open and cooperative in God’s plan of salvation.