The readings for Sunday, December 20, 2015:
First Reading: Micah 5:2-5a
Psalm: Luke 1:47-55 (Luke 1:46b-55 NRSV)
Psalm (Alt.): Psalm 80:1-7
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]
Finally, we have moved away from John the Baptist--although he's there, in utero, leaping at the sound of Mary's voice.
I love this Gospel vision of improbable salvation: two very different women, yet God has need of them both. I love the way this Gospel shows that even the impossible can be made possible with God: barrenness will come to fruit, youthful inexperience will be seen as a blessing.
Take some Advent time and look at the Magnificat again (verses 46-55). Reflect on how Mary's song of praise sums up most of our Scripture. If we want to know what God is up to in this world, here Mary sings it for us. He has raised up a lowly woman (who would have been a member of one of the lowliest of her society). He has fed the hungry and lifted up the oppressed. He has continued to stay with Abraham's descendants, even when they haven't always deserved it. We can count on our strong God, from generation to generation.
Take some Advent time and think about Mary's call to be greater than she could have ever expected she would be. She could have said no to God--many do. But she said yes. That acceptance didn't mean she would avoid pain and suffering. In fact, by saying yes, she likely exposed herself to more pain and suffering. But in saying yes, she also opened herself up to amazing possibilities.
Think about your own life. Where do you hear God calling your name?
Perhaps I will adopt a different New Year's resolution this year. I usually have resolutions about eating better and exercising more and tending to my writing. Maybe this year, I will resolve to say yes to God.
The very thought makes me a bit terrified. My control freak self doesn't like this idea of saying yes. My control freak self doesn't understand why I would want Mary, mother of Jesus, as a model.
How can we be like Mary? How can we be like Elizabeth, who receives an even more improbable invitation? Where would we be led, if we said yes to God?
God has a greater narrative for us than any we can dream of. Let this be the year that we say yes to God and leave our limited visions behind.
feeling the feelings…
3 months ago