After she arrived at her cousin Elizabeth’s home, Mary is greeted by the beautiful and faith-filled words of Elizabeth, calling Mary “Most Blessed among women,” and crying out, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb.” (NAB, LK 1:42) Elizabeth continues, proclaiming again how blessed is Mary, “the mother of my Lord.” (1:43) In response to Elizabeth’s praises, Mary speaks from the depth of her profound and saintly humility, and gives us a prayer composed of some of the most beautiful words of eternal love that have ever graced human ears:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon 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.” (LK 1:46-56)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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See with Blessed Eyes

Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” (NAB, LK 10:23) Oftentimes, we think it must have been easier for the original disciples of Jesus to believe in him. After all, they witnessed his healings, heard his teachings directly from him, had a better understanding and comprehension of Hebrew scripture and Jewish life, and saw, first-hand, his many miracles. Yet, we also know that all of the Twelve, except for John, abandoned Jesus throughout his Passion. It was only upon receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, which opened the spiritual eyes of the Apostles, that they became disposed to receive the blessings of what they had witnessed. With their eyes, they saw God at work through Jesus, they saw the promised Messiah who would unite God’s people, and they saw the power of Salvation in love, mercy, and sacrifice.

Jesus is still at work today. Jesus gives Salvation to our lost world, even now. His power is ever present in his love, mercy, and sacrifice that endure for all time. Just as was necessary for the First Disciples, however, we must see with the eyes of faith, a gift that is only possible by God’s grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit. But when we recalibrate our vision to be not limited by the world, but rather, enlightened by the light of Christ, we are then capable of seeing Jesus present in each other and in all of creation. It is then, when we see the manifestation of God around us, that our eyes will be truly blessed by what we see.

Holy Spirit, come! Give me the wisdom I need to see with the eyes of faith, that I may witness Christ’s real presence in the world, that my eyes may be blessed to see the reality of Jesus in my loved ones, in the needy and hurting, in the marginalized and neglected, and in those who persecute you. May my eyes see your glory as I witness your love and mercy at work in the world. Amen.

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