Posted by: geolocke | 2016/05/31

To Pondered These Things In Our Hearts

When I was younger, and was being instructed in the ways of our faith, I mistakenly thought that faith was a mindset, a moral compass as some call it, that keeps us on track in our lives and helps guide us toward the greater good. The Stories of the Old and New Testaments were history and served as examples of how we should judge and live our lives. In my understanding, that is all there was to faith. Nice and simple, easy to put in a box and bring it out when I needed to use it. How could I have gotten that all so wrong?

Those aspects of our faith are real, but I have come to understand that our faith is all that and so much very more. Our Faith is a relationship with the True and Living God. It is a relationship that, surprisingly enough, is founded in our inability to fully grasp how much God Loves us, as we strive to know and understand and Love God in return. We are wholly unsuited to the task, and yet God Loves us for trying, and God sends us Graces to keep us from despairing when we fail in our attempts, as we always do, and damage our budding relationship. God helps us pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and start once more in building our relationship together.

Sometimes God sends us helpers to aid us in our relationship building. In the Bible, God sends Angels at times to help point out the way to go. For us, God sometimes sends people into our lives when we are in need of guidance. Some of the people God sends could be our family, our friends, our co-workers, or even strangers, and yes, even the people in the stories told in the scriptures.

In today’s Gospel reading, we again read the story of the young Virgin Mary as she enters the house of her cousin Elizabeth. Both women are with child and are overcome with joy and exalt at greeting one another. Elizabeth praises Mary for her faith in keeping and believing what was foretold of her by the Angel, and Mary takes Elizabeth’s praise and joy and offers it up to God with her own praise and joy.

I really enjoy this particular story from our Faith. It fills me with joy just thinking of the situation and remembering about Zechariah in the background, unable to speak after having been struck dumb in the temple. Here are gathered before him both the Word and the Voice, and Zechariah can do no more but to hold on to everything that is happening, waiting and hoping and trusting in all that God has promised him. At the birth of his son, and the speaking of his name, John, Zechariah’s tongue is set free and he too adds his voice to the prayers of Praise that Elizabeth and Mary had earlier proclaimed.

Part of relationship building is to sometimes simply be present to another. To listen as others speak, and to rejoice in the gift of their presence in our life. And so it is in our relationship with God. There are times when we are so full of our own concerns, sorrows and troubles that we can’t help but pour out our hearts to God, asking for relief or even a sign that God is listening.

But then we find that there are times in our relationship with God when we still ourselves and listen to the silence of God, that immense silence, and we come to know in our own very limited way that God is present in everything and everywhere all the time. There is no need for speaking, or listening, or seeing, or hearing. There is only the need to accept God’s presence and ponder it in our hearts, and to offer our presence back to God in thanksgiving for God’s very being.

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