Daily Reading for June 1 • The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (transferred)
Children have the fathomless ability to believe anything; it is one of their most beautiful traits. They haven’t made up their minds yet about what is and what is not possible. Children have few fixed preconceptions about reality. If someone tells a child that under a particular bush is a magic place, they will search for it when no one is looking.
As children we lived in a summery green world where everything was possible, where in the end the villain or wicked witch was always slain and the princess rescued from her tower. Like a child, Mary quietly and simply believed. She didn’t fully understand the angel’s message, but she understood who God was, and she remembered the last thing the angel Gabriel said to her: “For nothing is impossible with God.” Her “yes” turned the course of history.
Nevertheless, in spite of her great faith, Mary still needed reassurance. Perhaps this is why the angel told her about Elizabeth, her elderly relative who was also inexplicably pregnant. It wasn’t until she saw Elizabeth, who astonishingly already knew about Mary’s condition, that it all came together in Mary’s young mind, and then she sings this song with all her heart. Even for Mary, the Mother of the Christ, her “yes” was not blind faith. Rather, like us, she had to ponder and work through her mind all that the angel had told her would come to pass. . . .
It is a beautiful thing to see individuals today who, like Mary, consciously attempt not to put God into the box of their predetermined understanding of who God is and what God does or does not do, but who simply instead choose to “believe.” The promise from Mary in her song is that those who do not restrict God’s activity in their lives will never be the same. The ability to believe is the most striking childlike quality. In Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic Through the Looking Glass, the White Queen advises Alice to practice believing six impossible things before breakfast every day. We would all do well to take the same advice.
From Songs in Waiting: Spiritual Reflections on the Middle Eastern Songs Surrounding Christ’s Birth by Paul-Gordon Chandler. Copyright © 2009. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY. www.churchpublishing.org