Reflection for Monday, May 31, 2004: Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth.
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God does unexpected and wonderful things! In this simple, but rich passage we see two humble women who unexpectedly become the vehicles for God's greatest work---the redemption of the world. First we have Elisabeth, who as an older childless woman discovers she is to have a child who will be a forerunner of the promised Messiah. Then we have Mary, cousin of Elisabeth, who as an unmarried girl, is visited by an angel who announces that she will give birth to the savior of the world. These are very unexpected circumstances and very unlikely figures to play in God's redemptive plan. Mary is compelled to visit Elisabeth and as they meet, Elisabeth's baby stirs in the womb, in anticipation of his connection with the coming Messiah. The joy in the room was palpable as Mary and Elisabeth rejoice in how God was working through them. Mary breaks into song, reflecting the song of Hannah at the unexpected birth of her child Samuel so many years before. This song has become one of the church's greatest hymns known as the Magnificat and declares the greatest of God's love and mercy toward His people. She is essentially saying "I'm bursting with God-news---I'm dancing the song of my Savior God." ||I wonder what made Mary and Elisabeth candidates for God working in such great ways through them. It has to be simply an openness to God's involvement in their lives. They knew of God's promises and they lived in anticipation of the fulfillment of what He said He would do. Because of their belief, God was able to use them in such unexpected and great ways. Blessed is belief because there are no limits to what God may bring to pass.|Faith is our act in that it begins with the turning of a heart desirously toward God. It is the quiet surrender of the self to the spirit of God which then takes hold and brings to fulfillment in us the faith which is His gift and which opens the way for all His continued giving. |The journey with God on which they were commencing had no guarantees. In the midst of their great joy and anticipation, they also had a foretaste of the grief that was in store for them and their yet unborn sons. Yet they were willing to be a part of God's story and saw themselves as blessed because God was working through them. That is what faith is all about---an openness to God working in our lives, anticipation of the unexpected things He will work within us, and trust that we will be blessed on this journey we are called to travel with God. How open are we to the unexpected and wonderful things God will work through us?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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