Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Luke 1: 39 - 45

MS 3: Book of Hours (France, post-1450; Latin)
Perhaps you too have had the experience of being in the midst of a discussion with an expectant mother about her hopes, dreams, fears, wishes for the coming weeks or months of her pregnancy.  We recall the Visitation – the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth during which Elizabeth says of
Mary, “Blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  In love, wonderment, and more than likely, in some fear, Mary not only believed, but she embodied the fulfilment of this promise.  We can all do the same, even though we may never experience the realities of expectancy that Mary and Elizabeth lived out.

In Ted Loder’s advent poem, I Am Silent ... and Expectant (1981), he says, “How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given.  I would be silent now, Lord, and expectant ... that I may receive the gift I need, so I may become the gifts others need.”

During these Advent days, we can all ask ourselves:  Have we truly received in our own ways, the promise that Mary and Elizabeth believed in?  What wondrous gifts are we carrying?  How do we nurture their fulfilment in prayerful silence and in gracious actions?  And most importantly, are we ourselves becoming the loving, compassionate gifts others need, not just at Christmas, but all year round?

– Cate McBurney

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