Awakened Blessings (The Assumption of Mary)

And Mary said, “I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Saviour God. God took one look at me, and look what happened – I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten, the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others …” (Luke 1: 46 – 49)

Nowadays, she would have taken out her mobile phone and called her cousin. “Guess what?” she’d have exclaimed. But as soon as she found out she was expecting, Mary set out and travelled to see her cousin Elizabeth, who was also expecting. At Mary’s first words of greeting, Elizabeth’s child (John the Baptist) leapt within her. Theologian John Shea cites this this story as an example of blessedness in one awakening the blessedness in another. The blessedness in Mary called forth and awakened the blessedness in Elizabeth.

This is not so unusual in a family. In fact it seems to me to be the usual way things go: One family member recognises the goodness, the potential, the talent, even the holiness of another family member and calls it forth. A mum will tell her son, “You really have a knack at noticing when people are feeling down”. Or a dad will tell his daughter, “I am always impressed with how much courage you have to do the right thing”. Once when I was feeling especially down about myself after a series of seeming failures, my wife picked up my spirits by saying, “I married you because I knew just what a good and talented man you were”. I hope I’ve offered her and my daughters the same kinds of blessings in return. So, whose blessedness are you recognising? Don’t keep it to yourself. Let them know.

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