Monday, August 15, 2016

Reflection: Luke 1:39-56

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Luke 1:39-56

The Gospel reading for this feast is a familiar one. Mary is traveling to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. Mary had just had an unexpected and disconcerting experience:  an angel had come to visit her.  As we know, the angel announced to Mary that she would have a child, even though she was a virgin. The angel told her a fantastic tale.  Mary would conceive a child who would be great and He would be called “the Son of the Most High.”  Mary was confused and afraid after this encounter. She didn’t know what to make of it.  Did she think that she was losing her mind?  Imagine how confused and frightened Mary must have been. What would her parents think? What would the townspeople say when they realized that Mary was pregnant? What a mixture of emotions that must have been in Mary’s mind and heart!

Mary desperately needed to talk with someone she trusted, a person who would take her experience seriously and listen to her fantastic tale.  She decided to go and visit her cousin, Elizabeth.  After all, Elizabeth also had a very unusual experience: she found that she was with child, even though she was far beyond the age of having children.  Perhaps Elizabeth could help Mary make sense of all that was happening in her life.

Now, I invite you to remember a time in your life when you had an experience that was unsettling, frightening, or confusing, and one that also created difficulties for you.  What was your response? What did you do? Who did you depend on? Did you go to a good friend or a family member that you trusted, someone you knew would listen to you and walk with you during this difficult time? An individual who would support you every step of the way?

At various moments in our lives, we all will need someone like Elizabeth to support and encourage us. Take a moment to remember the “Elizabeths” in your life. Who were they? What was the impact they had on you?

Now take a few moments and give thanks for these loving individuals. Ask God to bless them! Perhaps you may want to thank them in some way for being there for you when you needed them.  And at some point in the future, you may be an “Elizabeth” to an individual who needs support and care.

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