Daily Reflection – 12/12/19
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1:39-47)
Both Mary and Elizabeth stand out as wonderful examples for us. They believe the Lord’s words, and they receive his gifts.
There are miracles throughout the Gospel today. The way that both Elizabeth and Mary got pregnant, of course–in each case, miraculous. But also, the way that they both believed and rejoiced in the good news of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–that too is a miracle. Even little John got in on the believing-and-rejoicing act. Any time anyone is given the gift of faith and joy in the Lord–that is a miracle of God. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, working through the Word, working in our hearts, creating a saving faith and a blessed joy. And it is the faith of Mary and Elizabeth have that carries a message for us today.
Faith is the key that unlocks the power of God’s kingdom in our lives. We see the marvelous unfolding of God’s plan of redemption in the events leading up to the Incarnation, the birth of the Messiah. Mary’s prompt response of “yes” to the divine message was a model of faith for all believers. Mary believed God’s promises even when they seemed impossible. Elizabeth, much older than Mary, accepted with joy her gift from God. They were both willing and eager to do God’s will, even if it seemed difficult or costly.
God gives us grace and he expects us to respond with the same willingness, obedience, and heart-felt trust as Mary did. When God commands, he also gives the grace, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. Do you believe in God’s promises and do you yield to his grace?
Prayer of The Day
Heavenly Father, you offer us abundant grace, mercy, and forgiveness through your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to live a grace-filled life as Mary did by believing in your promises and by giving you my unqualified “yes” to your will and to your plan for my life.
Mary of Nazareth, is not only a person who has played a critical role in the story of salvation, but also one who epitomizes a life of compliance with divine purposes. Her very humanity makes her all the more accessible and commendable as a role model of one who truly wrestled with the claims of Jesus. No other person in history has experienced “the agony and the ecstasy” in relationship with Jesus as she did. No one else on earth shared the depth of intimacy she knew with Jesus in his mysterious conception, lowly birth, unpretentious childhood, turbulent ministry, gruesome death and astonishing resurrection. While being fully human, with all the frailty and pain and confusion that entails, she nonetheless remained faithful to her Son from beginning to end.