Daily Reflection
May 31st, 2006

Beth Furlong

School of Nursing
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Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Zephaniah 3:14-18a or Rom 12:9-16
Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
Luke 1:39-56

Elizabeth said ‘Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.’ It is not always easy for me to believe that the above will happen. In this Gospel’s Reading, two women’s strong faith beliefs are contrasted with Zechariah’s disbelief (Luke 1:20). The Gospel presents two conversations. But, Mary stayed for three months. I can well imagine many of the conversations they had – at their equivalent of a kitchen table.

How does one live out their strong faith beliefs in 2006 in each of our individual lives? How does one self-nurture Elizabeth’s and Mary’s belief behaviors versus Zechariah’s trait of disbelief? Is it a gift? Is it a matter of self-discipline? Does the belief behavior result from practicing all the admonitions listed in Romans Ch. 12 Reading of today?

I know in everyone’s life – at different times – there are challenges to one’s faith belief system. Perhaps, the best solution is meditation on this Gospel Reading – God’s plan for the insurmountable in each of our lives is no different now than it was for Elizabeth and Mary. Times change – God’s fulfillment of the universe does not. Unfortunately, we do not have the time nor the panoramic vision to truly appreciate this plan. But, Elizabeth calls us to be Blessed – ‘Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
After writing the above at the beginning of a train ride, I had the opportunity to meet a retired divorced U.S. ex-patriate now living in Budapest. We met in a dining car on a three-hour train ride from Budapest to Nyiregyhaza and shared wonderful life and travel stories. After we parted, I immediately thought of today’s Readings. It was a major life change for her to retire to a totally different culture – in her own way, she believed, took a risk, and lives out her life plan. Perhaps, if we each looked closer and listened more, we would know many individuals in our daily lives who are mentoring to us how they too are Blessed and are living out the message that they believe: ‘that was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

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