Saturday, November 26, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Visitation of Virgin Mary to Elizabeth – Celebrating the Good News


Rev. Manoj Idiculla
Carmel MTC, Boston
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Vs.45

The word "blessed" 'makarios' in Greek literally means "happiness”. It describes a kind of joy which is serene, self-contained, and independent from chance or changing circumstances of life.  But there is a certain paradox for those "blessed" by the Lord.  Mary was given the "blessedness" of being the mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  That blessedness also had become a sword which pierced her heart as her Son died upon the cross.  Anselm, a great teacher and Archbishop of Canterbury (1033-1109), said these words in a homily: "Without God's Son nothing could exist; without Mary's son, nothing could be redeemed."  To be chosen by God is an awesome privilege and responsibility.  Mary received both a crown of joy and a cross of sorrow. Her joy was not diminished by her sorrow because it was powered by her faith, hope and trust in God and His promises.  
During the visitation when Elizabeth greeted Mary and recognized the Messiah in Mary's womb, God not only filled Elizabeth's heart with His Holy Spirit but also the child in her womb.  John the Baptist, even before the birth of the Messiah, pointed to His coming and leapt for joy in the womb of his mother as the Holy Spirit revealed to him the presence of the King to be born.
Elizabeth’s attitude is summarized in the question "Why am I so favored?" a humble reasoning for being able to directly participate in God's plan and see Him at work. She recognizes the unique blessedness of Mary (blessed are you among women) because of the child she bears (blessed is the child you will bear). Elizabeth expresses blessedness for Mary's faith: "Blessed is she who has believed." Blessing emerges from God's ability to bring His promises to completion, but to share the benefits, we must be confident that God does what He says. The first sign of such faith in Mary was her willingness to let God use her (v. 38). The second was her immediate visit to Elizabeth, who herself served as a sign that God keeps His word and can give life (vv. 36, 39).

PRAYER

Lord, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and give us joy in seeking You more closely. Increase our faith in all Your promises and our hope in all the joys and sorrows. Help us to discern Your indwelling presence in us through Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
‘Divine experience can be experienced by only those who trust Him and His promises’.