Misa de Gallo Day 6 Reflection: THE ROAD TO JOY
by Br. Kaiser R. Castañares
Risk takes us somewhere. Mary’s visit to her cousin was believed to have been a risky travel for a pregnant woman. Her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with the future John the Baptist, lived in Ein Karem in Jerusalem which was about 100 miles away from Nazareth. Ein Karem is 2,474 feet above sea level while Nazareth is just 1,138 feet above sea level. This means that while bearing the child Jesus in her womb, Mary had to trek uphill just to meet her cousin who was also pregnant at an old age.
There is order in obedience. Since the annunciation, Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit and the grace of God – the cause of everything. Mary’s visit to Elizabeth signified a missionary character of the divine nature of God. If Mary was not endowed with the grace of God, she would have not said yes in the beginning. If God was not at work, she wouldn’t have had the courage to journey from Nazareth to Jerusalem. She knew that God’s grace was sufficient for her to carry out the task given to her. Despite the choices available for Mary – her youth and ability to make dreams come true – she chose to do the will of God. It was her obedience that moved everything in order.
Patience is necessary in following the will of God. Elizabeth was of old age when she learned that she was to bear a child. But before her conception, she endured the shame caused by not bearing a child. But because of her obedience, indeed, she bore a child who was to be John the Baptist – the one who baptized Jesus Christ with water. Here we see that though God has the power to do everything at once, God uses people to carry out His divine plan. He knows that time is necessary for man to figure things out and do His will. For Elizabeth and Zechariah, patience was key towards obedience. For man to hope that a woman can still bear a child at the menopausal stage is the most impossible thing to happen. However, they were patient with God and waited for God. Indeed, the will of God prevailed.
There is joy in trusting God. Most of us today draw our motivation from the dictates of the society: status, career, or wealth. Most of the time, however, we fail along the way because joy, unfortunately, is not found in what is temporary – the worldly pursuits. We do not feel content with what we do nor of what we pursue because of emptiness. In the Gospel, Mary and Elizabeth were surrounded with difficult circumstances, yet they were patient and obedient. They trusted God that in Him, everything was possible.