Daily Reflection for Friday, March 25 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
Responsorial: Psalms 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11
Reading II : Her 10: 4-10
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Luke 1:36-37
God knew Mary would need a faithful friend (Sirach 6:14), and so he had the Angel Gabriel point her towards Elizabeth. Mary got the hint and went to visit her in haste (Luke 1:39). I can only imagine what was going on in Mary’s head on her way to meet her relative. “Am I hallucinating?” “Am I going crazy?” But when Mary finally arrived, this God-provided friend immediately confirmed the reality of what had happened…Mary was the mother of our Lord.
Elizabeth's friendship provided Mary with a three-month oasis to prepare for her journey. The painful reality of Elizabeth’s prior infertility meant she didn’t have the distraction of other children. Being mute meant the talkative Zachariah wasn’t always putting his two shekels into their conversations. The two women were given time and space to forge a deep bond and, as an older woman, Elizabeth could support and mentor Mary. Elizabeth preceded Mary in so much…subject of gossip, miraculous pregnancy, son in ministry, and a beloved child brutally killed. Elizabeth helped prepare the way for Mary, and Mary did the same for Elizabeth.
In popular culture there is often a wise and powerful Gandalf, Yoda, or Mr. Miyagi available to befriend someone and prepare them for a great undertaking. But Elizabeth’s words to Mary were “Who am I?”. God chose a friend who felt weak and inadequate. Unbeknownst to Elizabeth, God had prepared her for that moment, and his power was made perfect in her weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
People often create a laundry list of perfect-friend criteria: same stage of life? successful? like what I like? believe what I believe? fun? They look for similarities and compatibility. But Jesus’ chosen friends included a Rome-collaborating tax collector, an anti-Rome zealot, brothers nicknamed the “sons of thunder” and a group of friends collectively known as “sinners” (Luke 7:33); and he had to deal with all the squabbling that resulted.
God calls us to uncomfortable friendships because it’s where we grow. Like Elizabeth, we may find ourselves with friends who are a hundred floors above us in the tower of faith, and they can make us feel inadequate. Conversely, we may feel uncomfortable because a friend is antagonistic to faith or feels abandoned by God. May God open our hearts fully to diverse and unexpected friendships, even when they are challenging, and may he give us the grace to prepare each other for the journey ahead.
Grace and Peace to you,