Community of Tampa | St. Pete | Florida

Meetings of Faith

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Amen.

Today’s Gospel reading ( Luke 1:39-56 ) is one of the most beautiful passages of the Virgin Mary, where she goes to the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth and enters the house, and greets Elizabeth. The Gospel says, that the sound of Mary’s greeting is picked up by baby John, in the womb, and he does a joyful little leap. The angel has said that John would be filled with the Spirit even in his mother’s womb. And so, when Mary greets Elizabeth, the Spirit causes John to recognize that Jesus was there as well. The presence of Christ brought a great joy for both John the Baptist and Elizabeth who then said to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the Savior of the world. And why is this granted to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” Elizabeth realizes that she is not worthy of such a visitation. She realizes that her Lord is coming to her, bringing great blessing. Such humble faith is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s Gospel passage has us ask ourselves, do we have the faith and the trust of Elizabeth? As with Elizabeth, the Holy Spirit has worked in our heart, through the Gospel, so that we trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. In Elizabeth’s speech we witness her faith, her faith which unfolded the mystery that this was no ordinary child Mary was bringing into the room, it was the Lord Himself. Mary too was a model of faith, and in the Gospel Elizabeth commends Mary for her faith, that she, Mary, believed her about the Son she would bear.

The meeting of the two mothers is a meeting of two great women of faith. Both Mary and Elizabeth stand out as spotless examples for us. They believe the Lord’s words and they receive His gifts. In our lives, we encounter endless occasions like this. For example, all those disciples who deeply believed and trusted Christ, after His ascension received the gifts of the Holy Spirit during the Pentecost. However, we do not always believe the Lord’s words and we do not always receive His gifts, and honestly it is not easy. The meeting of the two mothers is a meeting of two great women of faith which today teaches us to meet God in our midst and in our daily life. Both Mary and Elizabeth had God in their hearts, that is to say, they met and trusted God and the proof is obvious: the way both Elizabeth and Mary got pregnant, the way they both believed and rejoiced in the good news of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today, the great thing is, you and I have the same good news and the same Holy Spirit at work in our hearts.

And so, how do we meet God? Both Mary and Elizabeth undoubtedly trusted God. Mary did not doubt how she was going to conceive a child by the visitation of the Holy Spirit when the Archangel Gabriel visited her and the same with Elizabeth. She did not doubt how she was going to conceive at her old age. Can you imagine, Mary conceived with the descent of the Holy Spirit and Elizabeth conceived at her old age. Nowadays we think that this is really impossible, even doctors may not find an answer to this. However, both Mary and Elizabeth had trust in God. In this broken world, we all need to work on our faith and always be filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Since we all need to grow in our faith and have God’s trust, we then should meet God within us as Mary and Elizabeth did.

Among all our daily problems, we need to meet God and one way to meet Him is to trust Him by asking His guidance in everything. Both Mary and Elizabeth did not test God’s plans but accepted what God wanted them to face. They did not complain and ask God to take away their burden, but humbly and gratefully did what God wanted them to do. This is how Mary responded to the archangel Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)

Today like Mary and Elizabeth, we are all called to respond within to God’s plan for us. By examining our internal life. And since, our internal transformation happens only when we meet God and trust Him and His providence, we then today after examining ourselves and realizing our faults, meet God and receive His love and trust. For example, after seeing that we did not show love towards each other and realizing our wrong judgments, we ask for forgiveness and God meets us. After grasping that we did not forgive someone around us we again ask for forgiveness and our Lord comes and meets us and makes straight our paths.

Today, having the mind and the heart of the two faithful mothers, we are sure that the Holy Spirit will work within us faith like Mary and Elizabeth had. From now on, having trusted God, He embraces us just as he embraces all those who trust in Him. Today we are given an opportunity to meet God and rejoice in this world and those who meet and walk with Christ, they not only rejoice in this world but in the coming Kingdom as well; Amen.

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