The Gospel according to Luke (1:46-56)
Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.
Reflection: Do you remember what it was like as a child to open a gift, whether it be a birthday or Christmas gift, and feel the wave of emotion, joy that overcame you. Didn’t it feel like you were going to burst.
For the past few weeks, we have been building up to the birth of Jesus. This week we have been accompanying Mary as she navigates the most incredible news not just in her short life but in all human history. She does not retreat to process what has happened. She goes to help her cousin Elizabeth and after the incredible greeting acknowledging what Mary was going through, we finally hear Mary’s joy as she proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
With the help of my vivid imagination, I picture Elizabeth and Mary hugging, crying, and going back and forth with loud and excited voices. In this exchange we hear what will become the familiar promptings and teachings of her son, the proclamation of the Good News to the poor and oppressed. We too have endless opportunities to share in the joy that comes from serving, especially those most in need. And as we all know the need is great in so many places for so many people.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if hearts leapt for joy when we entered a room because others could sense the presence of Jesus in us. If we approach each other with the realization that our joy is in giving and not receiving how much more can we make the kingdom of God present among us. What are we waiting for? Christmas is but a few days away, but we have been blessed with the love, mercy, and compassion of Jesus every single day of our lives. Our call, our mission is to carry on the ministry of service with the joy and peace Jesus brought to us that began when a young Jewish girl said yes, and the world was never the same. Thank God!!
Action of the Day: Ponder the joy you experience when you serve others. Remember the words of Mary who says, “The Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name”. Make great things happen for those you are with today. It doesn’t have to be grand, just sincere and with the love and joy of Jesus in our hearts. May you and all of your loved ones enjoy Christmas and may peace be in your hearts.