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Browsing Reflections Archive

December 21, 2021

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Song of Songs 2:8-14
Responsorial: Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.   Luke 1:45

Some stories are worth hearing more than once. Today we hear again the story of the Visitation between Mary and Elizabeth, the same beautiful gospel we heard last Sunday.

We hear again that Mary set out in haste to visit her cousin. As we ponder this gospel, we might wonder what caused Mary’s haste?

A few verses earlier, Luke tells us that Mary was “deeply troubled” by the angel Gabriel’s greeting to her and wondered what it meant (Luke 1:29). Perhaps Mary was still overcome by the angel’s message. Perhaps she was concerned about Joseph’s reaction. We might also wonder if this miraculous pregnancy might set some tongues wagging among the gossipers in Nazareth. It’s easy to imagine that Mary’s emotions were a tangle of confusion, fear, wonder, and awe. It would be perfectly natural for her to hasten to see Elizabeth, a trusted relative, about the angel’s visit and the awesome events he foretold.

No sooner does Mary arrive than she is greeted by Elizabeth’s exuberant words of blessing:
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?  Luke 1:42-43
In an instant Elizabeth dispelled Mary’s concerns and affirmed her faith in God’s promises and the important role that Mary was to play in God’s plan of salvation. Elizabeth’s words strengthened Mary in a way that even the angel’s words did not. In response, Mary burst into her own beautiful canticle of praise, The Magnificat.

This gospel reminds me of my own conversations with trusted friends and mentors at moments when I was seeking guidance, confused about a decision, or wondering where God was calling me. Their words of affirmation gave me the courage to move forward in a new direction. Without their words, I might not have taken the risk.

Like Mary and Elizabeth, most of us will have visits with friends and family during the Christmas season. May we learn a lesson from Elizabeth and offer them our blessings. May we affirm the goodness we see in them. Their gifts are yet another way that God yearns to enter the world during this holy season. Let us  take a moment to say a prayer for each person whom we meet during the season, wishing them joy and peace, and quietly offering our blessing and prayer for them.

Wishing you a joyous and blessed Christmas season,
Jean Galanti


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