Saturday, 22 December 2012

Love will come again

Sunday Gospel- Fourth Sunday of Advent - Luke 1:39-44 

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

There is something about being barren; even if healing eventually comes.

Twenty-odd years ago 'barren' was a word that described me for some time until medical intervention and a visit to Fatima brought the miracle of conception. 

I hadn't told anyone, friends or family, I hadn't wanted the pity or the questions so, instead, got the assumptions and gossip - 'that I was too busy; too career minded.' There is no easy path.

When I conceived, of course, that wasn't the end of the anxiety - each week marked on the calendar - by eight weeks; this - by twelve weeks; that - by sixteen weeks; the first line of safety had been crossed but by then it was impossible not to watch the ticking of the days and measure the movement of the body and the life within. 

Sometimes, it felt that I spent the day holding my breath; believing that no-one realised just how precarious and precious this experience was. 

I wonder if this is why Mary ran to Elizabeth.

Did Mary move from those who would gossip and doubt to the arms of a kindred spirit? Run to her soul's friend, Elizabeth, who is filled with the knowing; the goodness and graciousness of God. 

After all, Eizabeth shares so much in common with Mary - Elizabeth knows that the Lord has spoken; has promised. Elizabeth speaks for each of us who sees Christ in another; who knows that God is faithful. 

She recognises that the Lord is with and within Mary. Knows that the Lord is also with her; that the Lord is with all of us who hear; who see; who trust.

Within Elizabeth, the prophetic voice of John also speaks; generations already naming Mary as blessed; most fortunate; most joyful of women - her fulness; our fulness of faith - if we have faith. 

If we are not part of the doubt and denial that the world can change - has already changed. If we hear the Spirit call to the spirit within each of us - telling us that we are - each one of us-  part of God's plan. If we believe that our very lives are fulfillments of God's promise.

Then, the Kingdom will come; Love will come again; Then, through God's grace, we will give birth to a new tomorrow. 


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