Thursday, December 17, 2015

Advent 4 C - Luke 1:39-56

Mary went with haste to the hill country for good reason. To be unwed and pregnant was not a condition a woman wanted to be found in, especially in a small town where gossip once whispered would grow louder as Mary grew larger. She goes to see Elizabeth who has had a remarkable conception herself which may have made her more open to the extraordinary mother and unborn child who greeted her that day. John leaping in her womb prompted an exclamation which is the proper response to someone leaping in your womb even if this is more than an “Oh my!” Elizabeth recognizes this as one of those moments when heaven and earth meet and all of history pauses to hold its breath as the Holy and Invisible and Immortal is revealed to flesh and blood. And while she proclaims “Blessed are you… Elizabeth knows that Mary’s blessing is hers as well and one thing leads to another and before you know it there is singing. It is a magnificent song that remembers the promise that God has remembered, to show mercy and strength, to embrace the humble and let the proud be lost in their futile thoughts which is a lonely place to be. Mary sings the powerful brought down and the lowly exalted, the hungry fed and the well fed hungry and in the singing I imagine the two unborn may have done a little leaping. It is a lovely thing to imagine, two pregnant women embracing, dancing, singing of “God with us” while the whole world just kept spinning as if nothing has happened. But of course as lovely and magnificent as that moment was the song will not be finished until it is punctuated by a cry of anguish. It is in the finishing that our song begins and the only way to sing it is to enter it, to leave our proud thoughts to themselves and see that the hungry are well fed. And whenever that happens the song goes back to its beginning, “my soul magnifies the Lord.

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