Gospel for December 12, 2013, Thursday

Posted at 12/12/13 3:15 AM

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Psalter: Week 2

Jdt 13:18bcde, 19
You are the highest honor of our race.

1st Reading: Zec 2:14–17
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for I am about to come, I shall dwell among you,” says Yahweh.
“On that day, many nations will join Yahweh and be my people, but my dwelling is among you.” The people of Judah will be for Yahweh as his portion in his holy land. He will choose Jerusalem again.
Keep still in Yahweh’s presence, for he comes, having risen from his holy dwelling.”

Gospel: Lk 1:39–47
Mary then set out for a town in the Hills of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior!

It is a general human tendency that, when our friends and relatives lose out, we feel bad, but when they succeed, we feel worse. Envy is always just around the corner.
Fortunately, we do not find even a trace of it in the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth. Elizabeth had every reason to feel bad, if she was so inclined. After all, she was senior in age, belonged to the clan of Aaron, and was married to a priest who served God in the Holy of Holies. Moreover, both of them were righteous in the sight of God and observed all the commandments (Lk 1:5-6). By all human standards, she was worthy to be the mother of God. If she didn’t feel bad, it is because she was a woman filled with the Holy Spirit. It was the encounter of two women of God, and the baby John in the womb, all three of whom were bathed in the Holy Spirit. One sure sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit is the joy that permeates our being, and the existential inability to be envious. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth cries out in joy, little John leaps in the womb, Mary breaks into song.
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She chose to appear to a poor, simple farmer. Let us joyously celebrate God’s favor for the poor and the simple.

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