So we made it Advent 4. If by now you haven't spent anytime looking for a parking spot downtown or at one of the shopping centers, well times ticking away. I always think it's a shame that Mary's story gets lost in the Christmas rush. It's to bad really one of the main characters of the divine story and so important even today. She was a young, unwed mother who had a big decision to make at such a young age. I doubt if that would have happened today that she would have been so quick to accept.
Fortunately for us he did accept and the answer she is said to have made has become and remains one of the great song's (canticle if you are inclined that way).
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour."
In the mid'st of these last days of frenzy I invite you to listen to a most peaceful and reflective version of that canticle sung by my friend Liz Dieleman, posted to youtube by Rob Crosby-Shearer who added the Icons.
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.