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Theotokos: Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent
“Mary remained with her for three months” (Luke 1:56)
Mary arrived in Judah for Elizabeth’s final trimester. During those three months, Mary and Elizabeth supported each other and prayed together. Hidden within Luke 1:56 are hours of conversation between two people who needed each other. Mary opened her heart and admitted that she did not know how Joseph would handle the news. She shared with Elizabeth that, while she sensed her parents would understand, she did not know if anyone else would. Finally, there would be the gossipers in Nazareth who would have a field day as soon as Mary arrived back home “showing.”
As Mary poured out her heart Elizabeth listened. Certainly she reminded Mary that God always delivered his people from suffering (tapeinosin). Elizabeth reassured Mary that God would give her the words as she told Joseph and that God would work a miracle in his life too. While there was no guarantee that anyone would understand, Elizabeth certainly reminded Mary that the face of the one in her womb was more precious than any hardship she would face once she returned.
Mary needed Elizabeth. Elizabeth needed Mary. Together, for three months, they shared community.
Each of us needs other Christians in our life. Living as a disciple is not easy, especially in our culture, and even more so during the secular Christmas season. However, God sends us people. If we’re going to really live as disciples we’ll need community to support us.
Who’s supporting you on the journey? What people, by there sheer presence, make you want to be a better Christian? Spend some time with them this Advent. Spend some time with Mary and ask her to show you the community during
her three months in Judah.
For your prayer
Mary would have often prayed with the Book of Ecclesiastes. Prep your imaginative prayer by slowly reading Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Use your spiritual senses and imaginatively pray with Mary in Luke 1:56.
“Father, I beg you to surround me with an authentic Christian community and open my heart to commit to them. ”
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© Fr. Mark Toups, 2015