August 9, 2021 at 14:05 #1498
Read the Gospel Passage slowly and prayerfully, perhaps several times over a few days.
Let the Story speak to you in your own life, and don’t try to force a meaning, eg, the Story has always meant only such-and-such.
Ask “What are you trying to say to me?” in your own life here and now, with whatever is going on in your life.
Be ready to be surprised.
If you feel comfortable please write your thoughts as a reply using the “submit” button below.
Gospel Lk 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.August 9, 2021 at 20:42 #1504
This story between Mary and Elizabeth seems to be as much about the proclamation of Mary being pregnant as it is telling me today we carry Jesus with us as well! We may not physically be carrying a baby, but we do carry Him with us.
There are times when you can feel the presence of Christ in a person, and while you may not have a baby within us to leap as Elizabeth did, our body does provide us physical signals, goosebumps, increased heart rate and at time ones mind just “knows”.
The fact that the holy spirit works within us (Jesus being in us)to allow us to be the instrument to deliver the message somebody is meant to hear is humbling.
Mary accepted this whole heatedly, and her message was delivered. How many times can we say we felt that “feeling” when we felt we became the messenger for God,Jesus, the Holy Spirit.
As a Eucharistic minister, I am humbled that there are time when I present Christ to somebody, and the intensity the connection may be compared to the connection Elizabeth and Mary felt. That feeling deep within.
I guess this gospel for me tells so much more than a visit between Mary and Elizabeth. It’s the message that each of us carries Jesus, each of us can honor Jesus by remaining g humble among each other, and each of us can allow ourselves to be the instrument Jesus uses to deliver a message.August 10, 2021 at 10:03 #1514
Sherri, this is beautiful. Did you ever think along these lines before, or is this something new? Also, if you were to read the passage a few more times, you might get different insights, perhaps even very personal. Did you read what I wrote last Saturday? Very personal.August 10, 2021 at 18:04 #1524Steve KarthanParticipant
Sherri, I agree with Padre 100% about this being beautiful! Thank you for sharing!August 10, 2021 at 20:09 #1526
This is actually a new way of thinking for me. I always would focus on the fact the the babies “communicated” the bond between Jesus and John the Baptist. While the spirit was definitely present and allowing unspoken words.
The acceptance of Mary in this is also discussed at an intimate level between Elizabeth and Mary. No doubt, while Mary accepted what Gods plans were, I feel she needed the support from her family. Something I can relate to.
While I can’t say I was “like” Mary, I can say that when I was worried about being pregnant, and prayed and prayed- and even before I know for certain I knew. It scared the heck out of me, and with God, I was able to accept this. I could not have gotten through that without having that nudge from God. Again like Mary, my family was my support as well. I think that is important in this message to show that not only the one God chooses to be the messenger, but those around us are part of the message as well.August 11, 2021 at 09:59 #1531
Sherri, this new way of thinking offers you a hint of what it’s like when the Spirit speaks to you in your life through the Scriptures. I would guess that you might have been a bit surprised how those thoughts came and where they took you. Being ready to be surprised is pretty necessary when we are trying to be open to the Spirit, especially with the Scriptures.It gets better, and, at times, more difficult and challenging. Definitely worth it.August 11, 2021 at 22:18 #1538Steve KarthanParticipant
I love every single word that I’ve read from both of you! Both of you are truely blessed and enlightened.we’ve been doing this for 4 or 5 weeks now. I continue having barrier after barrier. The latest one scared me…the Gospel is a gift to “US” from Christ. I don’t know if I’m smart, faithful or blessed enough to make the Gospel “personal” and share it as an “individual”…it is truely beautiful what both of you have written. SHARE THESE THOUGHTS WITH “US” not just me…this is valuable insight and needs to be shared with all. You two are beautiful people!:Thank You!
I’m still trying to be open to my experience, my relationship with Jesus. I don’t take these matters lightly.
Padre when we 1st met, you liked it when I said “let me think about it”, I haven’t changed in that matter. I’m just not ready to “babble” about my thoughts in the Gospel. They are beautiful to “me” as are your insights being beautiful to “me”.August 12, 2021 at 10:31 #1542
Steve, some very good writing there. It shows you are taking all this very seriously. You might go a little easier on yourself, though. You reflect God being God in a way that no one else can.
As Paul says, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. She gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. She gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. She alone decides which gift each person should have.” 1 Corinthians 12:8-11,28.
Go at your own pace, and keep trying to be open to the Spirit however the Spirit is working in your life. All our gifts, whatever they are, happen for the common good, kind of like the Badge, which exists for the public safety and not for the comfort and convenience of the one who wears it, as you already know so well.
You have tremendous gifts, and it might take a while for you to recognize them. Others already see them. Don’t compare yourself to anybody else. Your best gift is just being you as best you can, and being open to the Spirit in everything and going wherever this takes you.August 14, 2021 at 07:56 #1563
Lots of one-liners kept popping up with this Story during the week, pretty much depending on what was going on at the time. It was an involved week, especially with calls to the ICU.
Prayer has always been an important part of my life, and it has always been a developing process, always changing. So much of my journey has led me, often kicking and screaming, to people I did not want to be with and situations I did not want to be in. Yet, in retrospect, that was where I had to be for any number of reasons.
In the Story Elizabeth praises Mary for believing the Lord’s word to her would be fulfilled. Often I believed, and at times I kinda still do, that I did not deserve to have my prayers answered. Yet, again in retrospect, my prayers have changed me rather than whatever or whomever I was praying about. The mere fact that I am writing this now shows this.
Prayer has brought me to difficulties, and also through them. There has been a lot of letting go of what I want, of getting my way, and it has become less and less important. This might be a function of age.
As the Story shows, prayer always involves other people, often whether I wanted it to or not. Often, not always, things have been tough. At times God has been real, at other times not so much.
There is no doubt that one of the filters through which I process life is Viet Nam. Some things that happened there changed me significantly, and I am still dealing with them, sometimes more than others. It’s not all bad. There are some things I learned there that are positive and that I don’t want to forget, and I am a better person because of them. Prayer was very much a part of my life there, and it underwent great changes, for which I am grateful.
What seems to be the “takeaway” from the Story, at least for right now, is that down deep I do believe that the Lord’s words to me are being fulfilled. Not because I deserve it, but because God is being God in my life, and perhaps I can help others to see God being God in their life.
Came across an interesting website just now, perhaps in the context of what I’ve been writing: https://www.nightbirde.co/ Definitely worth looking at.August 14, 2021 at 10:22 #1568
Perhaps we might look at what prayer is for us. There are probably as many understandings of prayer as there are persons who pray. For me prayer is a relationship, an ongoing conversation that happens in varying degrees. Right now is one of those times when this is especially true. Often it is hard to describe but easy to experience.
After her prayer experience of what we call the Annunciation, Mary journeyed to Elizabeth, as we hear in the Story. I wonder where my prayer will move me to journey next. While I believe that prayer moves us to where and to whom we need to be, sometimes I wish it would not happen. Prayer involves, at least for me, a journey of letting go, of moving beyond my comfort zone. Sometimes I would like to just stay comfortable.
Then there is the pervading issue of doubting and questioning while things are actually happening — am I doing the “right thing” here? Do I really want to get involved? Does anybody really care what I think? IMHO these reflect healthy questioning.
I have a friend who is doing something-or-other in the US Embassy in Kabul. The news isn’t good, and all I can do is prayer as an attitude. I know prayer is important to him too.
I am also praying about my homily for mass this evening. I’ve been working on it for days, and today for hours sitting on my balcony since sunup. I have no idea what I am going to say. I am also wondering whether or not to go downstairs for bagels and donuts with some of the other residents.
Prayer is a relationship that happens in the setting of everything that is going on in my life at any given time. And I do believe that the Lord’s words to me will be fulfilled, whatever those words are, and I really don’t know what they are.
I’m taking a chance writing this for 2 of my former “students”. Not sure why, but it seems right. I’ll probably share this with a few others,too. Again, I’m not sure why.
Yes to what is, I think.August 14, 2021 at 10:45 #1570
Thanks for posting this. Currently, situations with my family and friends seem kind of ominous. Hearing of cancer for two members, and a friend who’s husband need open heart surgery. Our great nephew at 5years old passed away (while it was expected, it’s never easy). I continue to pray for them, and I know God is listening and the spirit is with each of them. The problem I’m struggling with is I feel completely helpless. I keep asking God what I can do for each, and the “only” thing I can provide is my prayer. While it is very powerful, it still feels like I can do nothing to help. This conversation and journey I’m taking with God is one I haven’t yet experienced and I’m trying to find the balance.
Once again you insight is inspiring. I pray one day I can move fluidly between these conversations, and understand more.August 15, 2021 at 09:39 #1573
If your are interested. The homily begins at 20:15.
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