Daily Readings Reflection for 6/25/11

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Scripture: Lectionary 376. Genesis 18:1-15. Resp. the Magnificat.  Matthew
8:5-17

Saturday’s Readings

Sarai (Sarah) makes us laugh for she laughed and will name her son after
this experience of being told she will have a son in her advanced age this
time next year by an unnamed angel of the Lord.  There were three
messengers who visited Abram and Sarai and received their outstanding
hospitality.  The promise of the nations is awaited in the birth of the
Patriach and Matriarch of all monotheistic believers.  Sarah says to the
angel, “I did not laugh.” The omniscient messenger knows better and gently
reminds her, “Oh, yes you did!”  It is funny no matter how this verse is
translated and shows us the humor of God in revelatory lines from one of
the most pondered books of the Hebrew Scriptures, that of Genesis. We have
the whole story or saga of Abram (Abraham) and Sarai (Sarah) in chapters
12-24 in Genesis.  This is good reading for it shows us how the man and
woman of faith grow and how much they loved each other.

We are reminded of the mother of Jesus who was pregnant and who sings out
in her hymn of magnifying the Lord that God is always faithful to his
promises and specifcally in the one made to Abraham and his descendants
forerver. Both Sarah and Mary realize that nothing is impossible with God.
Mary accepts this at once and actively embraces the mystery.  Sarah laughs
about it showing us her humanness but does not doubt that it is possible if
God says she will be pregnant.  Maybe she is realizing that sometimes
angels are the actual presence of God in a person’s life. Mary conceives as
a young woman who is a virgin; Sarah conceives as a very old woman who was
barren.  What a wonderful miracle that initiates faith in God through the
promise of a child– is there any better promise fulfilled than the birth
of a child?  And even moreso of the birth of Mary’s child who will be one
with God, the Son of God?

Thomas a Kempis makes a comment that is helpful for pondering this mystery
of faith and birthing: “If the works of God were such as might be compared
with reason they could not be called wonderful.”

Thus Abraham believed, Sarah conceived, Mary magnified the Lord (our
response for the day). Blessed are they who believed and showed us how to
continue to believe in the promises of God. We believe because of our new
birth in Baptism and we grow in our faith through the Scriptures and the
Eucharist that celebrates them. What may seem impossible for us, is
possible for God. This is what angels tell us too, and Mary shows us how to
respond to an angel by not laughing but by saying “yes.”  Blessed is she
who believed that the promises made to her would be fulfilled. Amen.

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