Monday, May 30, 2016

Who Am I…?

Who Am I…?
Tuesday, May 31: Feast of The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Responsorial Psalm gives the theme of the readings: “Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 12:2-6). The wonder of God’s special presence among his people will be acclaimed twice in the first reading, four times in the Responsorial Psalm and once in the Gospel.

Zephaniah 3:14-18 (alternate: Romans 12:9-16): recalls us to awareness that we should not take for granted the great mystery that “the Lord, your God, is in your midst.” The prophet is not speaking about the fundamental presence of God throughout creation, the “omnipresence” of his being, his knowledge and his power. That is a metaphysical truth and a basic human insight accepted to some degree by every human society on record.  A distorted education has duped the metaphysically challenged minority of “relativists” in recent Western culture into denying it, but to do so they have had to separate themselves intellectually from the rest of the human race as well as from the deep perceptions of their souls.

What Zephaniah is exulting over is God’s special relationship with Israel. God is “in their midst” — healing, restoring, turning away their enemies, guiding, saving and renewing them. God is not just their Creator; he has entered into an interactive relationship with them in history. He who is the “King of Israel” is the “Lord,” their “God.” This is a reason to sing and shout for joy, to be glad and exult. God has drawn near: “Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
To find deep joy and exultation in this, we need to enter consciously into something our society may be deficient in: awe and reverence rising from the realization of what God is. He is not just one of us, or even a level above us. He is the great and Holy One infinitely above and beyond everything and everyone created. His special dealing with us is something to rejoice in, but with recognition of it as awesome love.

In Luke 1:39-56: When Elizabeth cries out, “Who am I that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” she is revealing this reverence and awe. She recognizes, however dimly, the presence of the divine in Mary’s womb. In proclaiming her “blessed among women” she knows that this blessing is not something enclosed, restricted to Mary. It is a blessing planted in her to bear fruit for the whole human race. It is our blessing. We need to rejoice in it as well.

The feast of the Visitation is a “recognition” feast. It calls us to recognize and celebrate God’s presence — the presence of the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit — in every member of the redeemed body of Christ. Like Jesus, we too are the fruit of Mary’s womb, for she brought forth Jesus Christ and we have become his body.

This is the essential mystery Paul preached: “Christ in us, the hope of glory” (see Colossians 1:15-27). In every human encounter, something within us should leap for joy.

Initiative: Give God’s life: Be a “priest in the Priest.” Point out always how the Lord’s word to us being fulfilled.

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