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12/19

Nov 30, 2020, 13:26 PM
Title : 12/19
passage : Luke 1: 5-25.
passagePhrase :
person : Daniel G. Groody
personTitle : C.S.C. Waiting in Joyful Hope 2019-2020, Liturgical Press, pp. 46-47.
date : Dec 19, 2020, 00:00 AM
When I was about eight years old, I found a pamphlet that posed a provocative question that I’ve never forgotten. It said, “Did you know you could actually miss heaven by eighteen inches?” As I read further, it explained that about a foot and a half separates the head from the heart and that God is not just an idea to give assent to with our minds but a Person to encounter in the depths of our innermost being. In Luke’s gospel we get a glimpse of this eighteen-inch journey of both Mary and Zechariah. They share much in common: both are troubled when the angel Gabriel appears; both are told not to be afraid; both are given the name of their child; both are promised the Holy Spirit; and both ask a question in response to the good news of the angel. Despite their similarities, the angel looks favorably on Mary’s response while Zechariah is chastised and punished. As we look closer, we see that Mary trusts the word of the angel and then asks a question, while Zechariah seems to want his question answered first and then implies that only after he will trust. Although Zechariah reminds us that God’s call takes us beyond our comfort zone, Mary reminds us that faith involves first a decision to trust. Only after does understanding begin. As St. Augustine put it: “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”
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