Thursday of the Fourth Week


1 Sm 1:24-38
1 Sm 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd
Lk 1:46-56


Here we are at the end of the semester, looking forward to the holidays and precious time with our family and friends.  Over the next few days many of us will be on planes, trains, and automobiles, traveling long distances to celebrate with those we love.  How fitting, then, that today's Scripture captures the kind of joy and exuberance we feel when embracing loved ones whom we haven't seen in a long time.
Luke's Gospel conveys the overwhelming emotion that Mary carries as she travels to meet her cousin Elizabeth to announce her good news, breaking into one of the most moving and lyrical passages of scripture, often described as the "Magnificat."  We can only imagine Mary's struggle to comprehend the great mystery of her selection as the bearer of God's son. Even more mysterious for us is her "yes," her "fiat;" that is "Let it be done."  She not only accepts the call to be the Christ-bearer, she embraces this mystery with all its unknowns and ambiguities; more, she does so with conviction when she announces to Elizabeth, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant." (Lk 1:46)
How often are we challenged by encounters we have with the unknown, find ourselves confronting unfamiliar situations, ambiguous circumstances. As we celebrate that moment when God enters human history, we might ponder the significance of Mary's "fiat." Will we have Mary's faith, courage, and generosity in the face of mystery to be like her, to be "Christ-bearers" for a world yearning for the source of all Love?

-Dr. Mary Lyons, President Emeritus of USD