Joy in God’s Presence
When Jesus was asked where the reign of God was to be found, he simply responded that the reign of God is in our midst—in the midst of our families, our faith community, and our neighborhoods—in the midst of our world. The reign of God is especially found in the web of relationships we’ve built and encounter in our daily lives. Specifically, it is found in those relationships where people are drawn to be holy, in those who labor for the sake of justice, and in those who allow joy to permeate everything they do or experience.
After her encounter with the archangel Gabriel, Mary chooses to risk everything in order to be a part of the reign of God. She recognizes that God’s favor is not only for her, but for all people. She responds to God’s invitation to holiness with faith, and in response to her fiat God fills her with joy. Immediately upon Gabriel’s departure, she embarks on an arduous journey of compassion to assist her elderly cousin, Elizabeth, and shares the great joy she bears from carrying the Christ Child in her womb. A simple encounter triggers a wealth of joy.
Joy can come unexpectedly, like a lightning flash in the midst of a dark storm. It can appear without explanation, when the puzzle pieces of our lives suddenly come together and unveil the mystery. Wherever there is joy, the reign of God is growing in its midst.
Mary, our Mother, help us to recognize God’s presence in our midst, in the people we encounter, and to see God’s favor resting on us in the events of this day. Share your joy with us as you did with Elizabeth so that we may share it with others.