39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
There is good news all around us, all we have to do is look for it…
Do you remember how it felt when you first discovered that you were going to become a parent? Were you filled with joy, fear, or a little of both? There was probably some anxiety, which is understandable, as most of us have questioned if we were ready for parenthood, all the while knowing that the point was moot, that we were already on our way!
Whether sharing the news of our impending parenthood was a happy event, a celebration of something amazing that was happening in our lives, or if it was shared as a way of asking for help or advice, to calm our worries, this news simply had to be shared, we could not keep it to ourselves! In fact it can be argued that it isn’t really news unless we have someone to share it with!
As our children grow into adulthood and beyond, we always have more news to share as they reach milestones, make mistakes, which can give us gray hairs, but also as they make great accomplishments (at least as far as we are concerned)!
Our good news today is that we are blessed, just as Mary and Elizabeth were, to have others to share both our troubles and our joys with, as this is an important way of coping with meeting life on life’s terms. Also, there is the truth that Joy that is shared only grows stronger, while sharing our burdens can only make them easier to bear.
Even for those who feel all alone as they raise their children, as if they have no one in their lives to give them support, there is good news in today’s gospel: God is always with us and only a prayer away. Once we start reaching out for God’s love, we soon discover other avenues of support, from family and friends, co-workers and acquaintances, to professionals, and even people we know only via social media, as one of the gifts of our lives today is that we can even get support from strangers who read our comments on Facebook!
If we only stop and look, we will see that help, like good news, is really all around us, and is often shared in the midst of our ordinary lives…just as the news of Jesus’ impending birth was shared during a visit between two cousins!
Of course, there are those among us who are reluctant to ask for help, not necessarily out of pride, but because we don’t want to ‘bother’ people with our issues. However, when we fail to share with another person we are just being selfish, as most people feel better about themselves when they are helping another person; and we all want to find reasons to feel better about ourselves…why deny others that gift?
When we are reluctant to share our news with others we are also putting ourselves at a disadvantage, for the presence of God’s love can shine brightest when we share both our joys and our struggles, and where God’s love is present we are all brought closer together!
When we share the good news of God’s love with each other we are lighting up the darkness of our world with the message of God’s great love for us, love that can set us free from our worries, free from sin, and free to leap for joy, just as in today’s gospel when Elizabeth’s baby leaped within her upon hearing Mary’s greeting! Immersed in the light of God’s grace, we too can find reasons for joy in our lives: the joy of having people we can share our lives with, and the joy of being parents and watching our children (and ourselves) grow up!
And this is good news indeed!!!
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, we thank you for giving us the good news of your love, today and every day! Please help us to see that we are always surrounded by good news, even in a world that seems to want to focus on the negative, and please help us to share that good news with each by not being reluctant to ask for or to offer our assistance and compassion for all those in need. Let us remember that we are all your children, and that we are all living in a state of grace, all due to your freely given love…which is the best news of all!