Today’s gospel reading from Luke is familiar to us all: The Visitation. After making her fiat and giving her consent to bear the Son of God, Mary “goes in haste” to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, whom she found out “has also conceived a son in her old age.” The scene continues:
…she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:39-45)
This scripture is so pregnant, if you will, with points to ponder. The one that grabbed me is the very last line, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Those same words apply to us today 2,000 years later.
We’ve been given incredible older siblings in faith to imitate and from whom to learn. The greatest, of course, is Jesus himself. Next we turn to Our Lady. Today, on his feast day, we can learn from Jesuit Doctor of the Church, St. Peter Canisius. We all have our faves – St. Therese, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, St. Jude, and many more. If we examine each of their lives, we see the blessings associated with them believing “that what was spoken … by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
When we believe the word spoken to us would be or will be fulfilled we are blessed. It might be a word in scripture, or something you read, or a particular way that God reveals himself to you. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to understand or to do, and sometimes we don’t immediately see the blessing. Regardless, the first step is our own fiat, our own yes, to God.
God has made a mighty promise to us – salvation for our sins in the person of Jesus Christ. As we move towards the solemn feast of Christmas through the fourth Sunday of Advent, let us believe in God’s Word and live as true disciples of His promise.
O Come! O Come, Emmanuel! Anne