Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Dec. 23, 2018

Reflection for Dec. 23, 2018

by Sister Francis Bangert

The Gospel for today is one of my favorites, the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.  I offer a beautiful poem for your reflection.

Two women meet,
cousins yet more than kin—
bound now to one another
by pregnant surprise.

Their unpredictable God has laughed at nature
and made the childless and the virgin bear.

She of the leaping womb thought barren
bears the restlessness of her God.

And the virgin unknown
becomes the magnifying glass
that makes great her God
for all to see.

The women embrace:
forgotten hope surprised by life
embraces surprising love.

Meeting they touch
the old and the new
the forgotten and the unknown
now revealed in mystery
as ancient desire and time's fullness.

The simple majesty
of their common meeting
is remembered as the uncommon visitation
of God come among us.

Shall our own forgotten hope
protect us from surprise?


Shall our fear of being known
cause us to turn and hide
from this -- God's embrace?

It is possible.

Shall we trade
the restlessness of God
for oblivion?

Also possible.

But these women,
Elizabeth and Mary,
desire and fullness,
call us to laugh
with our unpredictable God
who comes to visit
such a warm and generous embrace
upon our quaking hearts.

by Harry Hagan, OSB
© Saint Meinrad Archabbey, 1993. All rights reserve. Used with permission.

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CommentBubble"becomes the magnifying glass that makes great her God for all to see." This is VERY COOL: that is our "visitation" calling, too. I recently was sent this ( very thoughtful pondering regarding "annunciation." It gives us pause to wonder if there have been ways and times that we have resisted, or even rejected, an invitation and request from The Great Mystery-of-All to "bear God new life." How much surrender it takes to really "hear" and "know" and succumb to that call to "new life!" "God, surrender me to your holy, life-giving will!" -- Linda

CommentBubble"...the unpredictability of God..." says it all! Thank you for your thoughtful reflection! -- Michael V



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