This morning's Gospel includes one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. It is one that I have prayed and read over the years, but recently this verse settled gently into a crevice of my memory and jumps out from time to time in the most unexpected ways. The words Mary speaks to Elizabeth when they greet each other for the first time as they celebrate their unexpected circumstances stir something deep within my soul. Hearing her words echo over the centuries, I wonder how many other people have been similarly moved.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name. (Luke 1:46-47, 49)
After Mary spoke with the angel Gabriel, she pondered what his words meant, not only to her but to the entire human race. She reflected upon the promises that God made to the countless men and women who preceded her. And then we see her act.
Mary not only responds to God with her private yes, she immediately travels to visit Elizabeth. There, she glorifies God with her words of praise and her service to Elizabeth. The Holy Spirit, the love of God, connects these two expectant women and allows them to recognize their part in God's plan.
Our response to God cannot stop with our own private "Yes" that we might say in prayer. We cannot allow ourselves to stall as we ponder and make the connections between what God is revealing to us through Scripture and in our daily lives. We must allow our response to God to be revealed through our words and our actions.
In these last few days before Christmas or in the days leading up to the beginning of the new year, allow your spirit to rejoice in the birth of Jesus who is God our Savior. Let this rejoicing spill over into your words and your actions.
May God bless you and may you experience the peace of Christ in the upcoming Christmas season.