Reflection for Sunday – August 15, 2021
Readings: Revelations 11: 19A; 12: 1-6A, 10 AB; 1 Corinthians 15: 20-27; Luke 1:39-56
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Preacher: Sheryl Zabel
On August 15th, we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and, in a sense, we are celebrating all women of faith. In today’s first reading from the Book of Revelation, there is a vision of a woman clothed with the sun, who gives birth to the one who will rule the nations. Of course, we think of Mary, and here, she is portrayed as representing the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Church. Awesome. Mary is Christian #1, so she is the mother of all who have faith in her son Jesus.
Today’s Gospel features another great woman of faith—Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and a relative of Mary. When Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, both are pregnant, and the unborn John recognizes the unborn Savior of the world. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, blesses Mary three times. Do we bless one another in our time?
Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s blessings is what we call the Magnificat. We should pay close attention to the Magnificat and ask ourselves several questions.
Do we proclaim the greatness of the Lord? If the answer is yes, how do we do this? Do we forgive an “enemy” or recognize this person’s humanity and God’s love for him or her? Do we go out of our way to help one another, to make each other’s lives more peaceful and more meaningful?
God looked with favor on Mary, that’s for sure. But how does God look with favor on us? What great things has God done for us? How has God shown mercy?
But—are we the ones God is scattering today, because we are so full of ourselves? Are we among the mighty, who no longer will be mighty? Are we among the rich whom God will send away empty?
Do we agree that God should lift up those among us who are lowly and feed those among us who are hungry? And will we let God use us to do acts of mercy toward one another?
Will we truly follow Jesus, as Mary and Elizabeth did, and so many more?