The Assumption

Mass readings and a variety of reflections from six different authors for this Sunday 15th August are here
The Gospel is an astounding account of great faith from both Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. We hear the wonderful outpouring of spontaneous joy  from Mary which has become known as The Magnificat .
Mary set out
and travelled 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,
“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.”

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.
My Reflections 
I can only imagine what a  relief it must have been for Mary to share the true nature of her pregnancy with Elizabeth.  
The open arms and embrace of  Elizabeth and these words from her "And how does this happen to me,that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" would have been a beautiful confirmation that she was not alone in the knowledge that she was pregnant with the Son Of God and allowed her to relax in the presence of unconditional acceptance.
I love the the painting immediately above as it really does convey the utter joy and exuberance of the Holy Spirit that fills them both and also portrays the relief that they could both freely speak and tell each other what was going on without fear of being judged that they were  insane !! 
It reminds me of the joy of being able to talk about my faith with people who will be able to understand the authentic joy it brings.

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