Thursday of the Third Week

Readings

Sg 2:8-14
Ps 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Lk 1:39-45

Reflection

This is one of my favorite gospel stories.  It always reminds me of my friend, Madi, and the many conversations we have had about this story.  What we love about it is that as soon as Mary says yes to being the mother of God, she goes to tell Elizabeth.  Mary probably feels so many things at this time.  I imagine her feeling both extremely joyful and extremely nervous.  Maybe she feels courageous, or maybe she feels that she can't do what God is asking her to do on her own.  Maybe she is experiencing a deep sense of conviction and trust in God.  Whatever Mary is feeling, I'm sure it is a bit overwhelming.  But instead of keeping this overwhelming experience to herself, Mary goes to share it with Elizabeth.  In the sharing of such a meaningful experience, Mary now has another person to rejoice with her, to support her, and to proclaim the great things that God is doing in her life. 
 
As we talked more and more about this story, Madi and I decided that we should be each other's "Elizabeth," meaning that we should share our dreams, joys, and heartbreaks with one another.  The idea behind this is that we would always have someone to celebrate life with as well as to offer support during hard times.  In sharing our lives with one another, we would also be able to remind each other of the ways God is moving in each of our lives.  
 
In truth, I have too many "Elizabeths" to count, and this is something that I thank God for every day.  I have always been surrounded by inspiring, supportive people from roommates to co-workers to professors to family members.  These people have shared in my joys, walked with me through tough times, and have reminded me to notice where God is present in my daily life.  Not only this, they have also given me the opportunity to share in the joys and struggles of their own lives as well.  
 
Each of these relationships is so much more loving, fulfilling, and authentic when we open up our hearts to receive the gift of the other person's life.  So let us walk through the beautiful gardens and the trying deserts of our lives side-by-side.
 
Brenna Wertzberger, '17
Jesuit Volunteer Corps
St. Louis, MO