Blessed Hearts Are Joy-Filled Hearts

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Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

Luke 1:39-45
Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb,and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women,and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
Opening Prayer: Beloved Lord, I can’t help but feel joyful as I meditate on this Gospel today. Please send down your peace upon me so that I can better live out your word.
Encountering Christ:

  1. Miracles and Graces: After years of not being able to bear a child, Elizabeth, by the grace of God, found herself pregnant in her old age. What a miracle! Additionally, the Savior of the world and his mother came to visit her in her own home. What a grace! Elizabeth’s reaction was one of pure joy and humility. Let us pray that we can proclaim the splendor of the Lord as Elizabeth did when moments of grace and miracles happen in our life. 
  2. Affirming Others: Mary had had a long and tiring journey, which probably left her emotionally and physically exhausted. And she was dealing with mysterious circumstances that she could not share, nor would most others understand. Immediately upon seeing Mary, Elizabeth, with the aid of the Holy Spirit and the saintly unborn baby in her womb, lifted Mary’s spirits up with some of the most beautiful words of Scripture. Let us seek to affirm and lift up the people we encounter, especially during these busy holidays. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the goodness every person carries within them.
  3. Hear and Obey: In the last line of today’s Gospel, Elizabeth exclaimed, Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Mary and Elizabeth were blessed beyond all telling by God. But we are also blessed! And this line of Scripture would apply to any of us when we endure hardships, suffering, or spiritual darkness with a disposition of faith in God’s word. We know as Christians that God’s word is always fulfilled, even when we don’t immediately feel his accompaniment in our life.

Conversing with Christ: Lord, thank you for your word, which guides me through the highs and lows of life. Please help me notice and be grateful for the people in my life that affirm and lift me up. I pray through the intercession of our Mother Mary, that I will always be able to hear and obey your word. And since we’re in the season of Advent, I pray through the intercession of St. John the Baptist that my heart will leap for joy on Christmas morning. 
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will pray to the Holy Spirit to find someone to affirm and lift up.
For Further Reflection: Watch “The Woman I Love” by Fulton Sheen
Joseph Peach is an author whose published works include the Catholic inspirational book, Uncover Truth, It is Hidden in Front of Your Eyes and the epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of The Cursed Living Blessed. He also hosts the Catholic podcast “A ‘Light’ In a World Filled With Lights.”

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