Here are some things that are very biblical as I understand the Bible…
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age
to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm,
dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant,
remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
That’s it for today. Pray for a better world, and then take on the actions to bring forth that world. It is hard, it is scary, it is intimidating, but it is necessary.
Today is the feast of the Assumption. May our Mother Mary guide us all; God knows we need her. Blessings to all on this feast, I pray for more peace in the world today, beginning in me, as peace has felt difficult to come by.
When I came across this link (from America Magazine, 2008) I was struck by these words in particular:
sometimes, Mary is presented as meek and mild, passive and subservient. The problem with this view is that it is impossible to reconcile it with the ten stories we have of Mary in the New Testament: the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, flight into Egypt, loosing Jesus in the Temple, going to bring Jesus home from his public ministry, the wedding feast at Cana, being at the foot of the Cross and Pentecost. The strength and power of Mary’s witness is most especially captured in the Magnificat from which we just heard. Here Mary extols how God is saving us by turning the world on its head, doing the very opposite of what was expected.
May we all be aware of the unexpected grace of God, and may we all be willing participants in the revolution of redemption. It is hard work and we will surely need our Mother’s help. While this feast is about her “falling asleep in the Lord” she may be the most woke woman I know.
(Another guest post today, from Susan Grunder. We actually celebrated the Visitation yesterday, not today, but I did not get to post this on time. Late? This message is always. timely, and we are grateful for the way Susan has shared it with us.)
Mary, Ely Cathedral photo credit Susan Grunder
Today we celebrated the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. How I love to hear the Magnificat proclaimed! As a grown woman, Mary’s song of liberation, empowerment and grace never fails to move me. I don’t recall ever hearing it as a child. The Magnificat is not part of the Rosary or the Angelus. It is a part of the liturgy of the hours, which pretty much guaranteed me not hearing it as a child. And that, I think, is ok. I think I needed more maturity to be able to connect with the power of this prayer of thanksgiving and liberation. I came to appreciate the Magnificat in graduate school, both as part of prayer and as part of study. Today, I heard it proclaimed at the 9:00 Mass.
And it was beautiful. And powerful. And challenging.
Today I also attended the funeral of an amazing woman who was a mentor to me in many ways. She was an empowered lay woman in the church, a long time DRE and Spiritual Director, who shared freely the graces she was given and who had an amazing gift for storytelling and listening. Mary Lou was able to share the workings of God’s grace in her own life and help others identify grace in their own. She held so firmly to the belief that her ministry in Faith Formation stemmed from her baptism that she kept a framed copy of her Baptismal Certificate on her office wall rather than a copy of her diploma for her MA in Religious Education. I came to know her by being invited to participate a regular meeting of fellow faith formation professionals who were older and wiser than me. Those Continue reading
(Yes, I know – hiatus. Back briefly on this day.)
Many years ago, when I was an toiling away in corporate America, I used to call myself an E.L.F. – or executroid life form. It was a joke meant to poke fun at a world around me. It seemed that we were less and less focused on people, and more focused on getting sales and good numbers, whatever that meant. Today as I reflected on this, I thought of a business book that was popular many years ago, “Getting to Yes, Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” by Continue reading
(REPOST: This is the text of a reflection that I had offered at St. Edward the Confessor on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 – during Evening Prayer.)
God is with us.
God is with us.
God is with us.
It doesn’t always feel like God-is-with-us, does it? Especially now. Typically we might find ourselves on December 18th, pretty deeply into the “are-we-there-yet?” stage. You know, that feeling where we find our “it’s-almost-Christmas” glee crisscrossing with high anxiety over all the things yet unaccomplished as we race towards December 25.
Anxiety or glee – neither one is especially rooted in our Advent journey of holy waiting, but both are very common things to feel. I don’t know about you, but I am in a state of mind and heart that says, “can-we-leave-now?” rather than “are-we-there-yet?” And the “God-is-with-us” matter might be harder than usual to grasp. This makes me wonder if perhaps “are-we-there-yet?” and “can-we-leave-now?” are the wrong Continue reading
Say yes to the difficult.
Say yes to the challenging.
Say yes to the improbable.
Say yes to the absurd.
Say yes to love.
Say yes to peace.
Say yes to hope.
Say yes to mercy.
Say yes to God.
Buck the trend, upend the world as God’s radical partner, God’s unlikely choice, God’s mysterious candidate, unknown to the world, but made for great things.
Be the gateway to promises kept. Be the portal to astonishment. Be the opening to wonderment. Be the way to passage to love. Be the door through which mercy flows.
On this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, look from one side to the other, by saying yes to sin and death, by saying yes to a clean heart and eternal life.
On this opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, say yes, even if it means an almost imperceptible shift of your inner being, barely a crack where light can pass through. Say yes to it all, however timidly and however small.
Say yes today.
I quite purposefully use this image of Mary from Medjugorje. Some of you know that as unlikely as it seems, I went there. This was originally posted in 2011, and I am reposting today on this Feast of the Nativity of Mary in 2015.
Little lady dressed in blue. That is an image of Mary that attracted me as a young girl and who seemingly called out to Continue reading