When God Breaks into Ordinary Lives

21 December 2005: Wednesday of the 4th Week of Advent
Luke 1, 39-45: The Visitation

We remember that the message of the Annunciation was that both Mary and Elizabeth would become pregnant. The visit of Mary confirmed what the angel had told her, and it was a proof that God kept His word. Moreover, Elizabeth's greeting to Mary also confirmed God's word: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." Elizabeth also knew about Mary's pregnancy.

As both of them rejoiced, Mary sings the Magnificat (the Gospel tomorrow): she sings about how God reverses all plans and designs, defies conventions, chooses the weak instead of the strong and lifts up the lowly like Elizabeth and her. Mary sings with joy and gladness! She sings because she knows she does not deserve to be the mother of the Savior, nor does Elizabeth deserve to be the mother of a future prophet (all she asked was a son!). In their being ordinary, God broke into their lives. The reaction of both women was not surprising to common folk. I have seen the difference. One Christmas I gave the same CD to two different friends: one poor, the other wealthy. They both acknowledged the gift, but one can't stop thanking me for remembering her. My friend from the urban poor area where I was assigned was elated more than the one from the affluent. Indeed, when one has nothing, a little gift means a lot!

Mary does not sing about herself, but about God: praising God for the attention He has given to two simple insignificant persons. God's attention means a lot to them! And if Mary and Elizabeth experienced such personal care, then God too would do the same for many of us--- simple, insignificant, lonely, lowly, poor and ordinary. In fact, Mary's description of herself is thus, "I am the Lord's handmaid (a servant, a slave girl)."

The world's standard has it that kings are born of queenly rich women. God's standard is its reverse. We are all unworthy of God's presence, or for God's visitation, as Christmas is. His arrival on earth was not our achievement. God chose us, thus, because of His choice, we were made worthy. He made us worthy of His breaking into our lives. And this is the reason by Mary and Elizabeth rejoiced: they shared this Good News of God's preference to those who are poor.

Today, we reflect on our ordinary lives in order for us to be aware of God's direct coming. As we prepare for the coming of the Lord, we also prepare our hearts by opening it magnanimously for God's entry into our lives. We also look at how we regard and treat ordinary folks like Mary and Elizabeth.

No comments: