Wednesday, May 31, 2017

t's easy to get in a rut. Our lives go on with the same patterns and we find ourselves doing the same things over and over. For some of us, that's a Godsend (click the link to read more)

It's easy to get in a rut.   Our lives go on with the same patterns and we find ourselves doing the same things over and over.  For some of us, that's a Godsend.  I thrive on patterns.   Having a schedule of what is coming up next is of great comfort to me.   Even going through a drive through the restaurant is only bearable to me if I already know what everyone wants in the car before I get to the order stage.   The danger though, to having a set pattern, is that sometimes we lose meaning in our actions.   We forget to put our hearts into it and we just end up going through the motions.  Our prayers become rote and our prayer life becomes a simple checklist of the things we need to do today, rather than being the encounter with a God who loves us that it is intended to be.   God reminds us in the first reading today not to grow slack in zeal, but be fervent in spirit.  Rejoice and be filled with joy!

On the feast of the Visitation, we are reminded that we see Mary as one of the best examples of living a life of Christ that we have.   Here we have this young woman who is having an experience that is earth shattering.   She has just found out that not only is she pregnant, but that she is going to be the one who will bear the Messiah into the world.   An unwed Virgin, she knows that in the near future not only could she face rejection by her spouse and family, but that she could face a trial and even an execution.  It would be easy for her to draw in on herself.   To forget everyone else and to lose her joy, replaced with the fear of the unknown.   Instead, she instantly goes off to see her family in the country.   In her time of need, she instead goes to help her cousin Elisabeth during her pregnancy and serves her for three months.  

The most telling part though is the exchange we have recorded in Sacred Scripture.   How does Mary respond to her situation?  Her soul exalts the Lord inside of her.  Her voice proclaims her joy and excitement at God's plan and blessing for allowing life to grow inside of her.   She declares that the Almighty has done great things for her, and from her outpouring of spirit we have the beautiful Canticle of Mary, the Magnificat.   Do we respond that way to God's plan in our lives?  Often, instead of joy and feeling blessed, we complain.   We worry about what God is doing.  Pointing fingers at others, we forget that God is involved, too.   Mary reminds us constantly to trust in God and to serve others.   To always, as she pointed out at the wedding of Cana, "Do whatever He tells you."   That's why we Catholics take that simple statement from the Sacred Scriptures to heart, the one so many miss when they say Mary wasn't special or was just "another person":  "From this day all generations will call me blessed."  Today I think our lesson is not only to be more like Mary in our walk but to also realize that we are blessed.  That God has great plans for us, plans to prosper us and bring hope.  Are we trusting?

His servant and yours,
Brian Mullins

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. - Psalm 19:14

A reading for the Feast of the Visitation: May 31st, 2017