Wednesday 31 May 2017

Bible Book:

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” (v. 45)

Luke 1:39-49 Wednesday 31 May 2017

Psalm: Psalm 113


Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation of theBlessed Virgin Mary. Protestant churches do not venerate Mary afterthe Roman Catholic and Orthodox practice, and therefore perhapslack feminine iconography for God, which has important truths toconvey.

This passage offers a poignant image of the two first-timepregnant mothers meeting - one past childbearing age and the otherbarely reaching it, but both willing to put their bodies at theservice of God. Within Mary's body the divine became united withthe mortal - she offered her womb as a space in whichtransformation occurred (Luke1:38), and she herself was transformed (verse 49) by makingherself available in this way. Mary is an archetype of the spaceall women offer for transformation when they carry and bearchildren, but she also embodies the call to all believers, whetherthey have borne their own children or not, to make space fortransformation and the bringing forth of new life in a multitude ofways.

This was not only a personal transformation, but a cosmic one;history itself was transformed in her womb. It is a pity thattoday's set passage ends half way through Mary's song, known as theMagnificat, because she went on to sing of how this union of humanand divine will transform the whole social order, lifting up thelowly and filling the hungry with good things (Luke1:52-53). The willingness of one little girl to say yes to Godtransformed the whole world for all time.

Mary carried God in her body and knew what it was to hold a lifewithin her that was not herself and yet an intimate part of her.She points all humans towards the truth of God dwelling within us.Elizabeth, too, shows us that the body is an authentic source ofspiritual knowing: "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the childleaped in her womb" (v. 41), and she trusted the bodily response tothe presence of God, which gave her access to inspiration by theHoly Spirit long before Pentecost!

To Ponder

  • Has your body ever been a source of spiritual knowing? Whatpractices can help you to tune into your body so that you canbecome aware of carrying God within it?
  • How might you become a space in which transformation canoccur?


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