Thursday 21 December 2017
Advent Season of Creation. St Peter Canisius.
Song of Songs 2:8-14 / Zephaniah 3:14-18. Psalm 32(33):2-3, 11-12, 20-21. Luke 1:39-45.
Cry out with joy in the Lord, you holy ones; sing a new song to him—Psalm 32(33):2-3, 11-12, 20-21.
In the Lord do our hearts find joy!
We have heard that the angel Gabriel appeared to two people announcing to each the birth of a son who will have a special role in God’s redemption of Israel. Now the narratives come together. Mary a young woman sets out in a hurry through the hill country to Elizabeth in order to confirm the news given by the angel and to share in Elizabeth’s joy. The angel’s message to Mary is confirmed not just by Elizabeth’s pregnancy but by the child leaping in her womb. This is a prophetic sign for Mary and her child. John, the future prophet who is called to recognise and proclaim the coming of one “more powerful” than himself has already begun his ministry from inside his mother Elizabeth’s womb. Where then does redemption have its source? In a woman’s flesh. The womb becomes the tabernacle and holds the mystery of salvation. I am struck by the inherent dignity of the human person.
In Laudato Si, (On Care for our Common Home) Pope Francis reminds us that the dignity of the human person extends to the rest of creation, which is called to join in praising God. Do I notice when love leaps in me? When I notice this, I am on my way to a deeper conversion. A sense of unity with life and love and God. Pope Francis calls for an ecological conversion, “a culture of caring that permeates all society”.
Once I notice love leaping in me then the next step is to act. Pope Francis challenges education in the sense of creating “ecological citizenship” and a new lifestyle that is based on caring, compassion, an awareness of my ecological footprint and the alliance between humanity and the environment. Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit exclaims loudly “blessed is the fruit of your womb” and recognises the mother of her God. Can I allow the working of the Holy Spirit to reveal this mystery to me? That creation and humanity are both unbillically linked.