The Gospel according to Luke (1:39-56)
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,
“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
for he has looked with favor on 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 has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.
Reflection: Today, we celebrate the Assumption of our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. The main point to ponder for us should be the miraculousness of it all. The Gospel is the retelling of Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, and it’s a great reminder of the servant’s heart that Mary had. It began from her “yes” to the angel, and even in this scene, carrying the infant Jesus in her womb, she was all about being of service. Who was she serving? Her cousin, who was the receiver of another miracle, becoming pregnant in her old age to Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist. So many miracles to think about!
It truly is a miracle that the God who created us longed to break through into our world. He gave life to Adam and Eve and tried to teach His people through their leaders, such as Abraham, Moses, David, and prophets like Elijah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. But, God saw that wasn’t enough. So, He came to us in the form of a baby, born of a humble young girl from a small village. The miracle began from Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel: “May it be done to me according to your word.”
For Chuck and me, this miraculous birth of both Jesus and John the Baptist is especially close to our hearts, as we were not sure if we would be able to have children. We had tried to have a child for some time, and kept praying that we might be given that blessing. Finally, God answered our prayers and we were pregnant. We were so excited (and a little bit terrified) about it, but we knew that God had a plan and we promised to do our best to cooperate with that plan.
In that way, we try to follow the example of our Blessed Mother, who said “yes”, and then showed perfect fidelity to God. Of course, we are not perfect. We will fail many times. We will stumble and fall on the path that the Lord has set before us. But, we will get up again, ask our loving Lord to help us, and then continue on the way. The key is to have a humble heart, like Mary did, and to trust that the path ahead may not be easy, but it will be one that will ultimately bring us to the heavenly kingdom. Let us keep our eyes open, though, for those small miracles we see along the way!
Action for the Day: Read Mary’s wonderful “Magnificat” song slowly and prayerfully. Ask God to help you to have a humble heart like Mary to follow Him and to share His light today. If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!