Zep 3:14-18 or Rom 12:9-16 /Lk 1:39-56
There was a king whose only son was an angry, rebellious young man. Try as he might, the king could not find a way to his son’s heart. And finally one day the boy gathered up his things and rode off into the sunset. The father tracked his journey across many lands, waiting patiently till his son would remember where his real home was. When the time seemed right, the father sent a message, “Come home, my son,” he said. “I love you, and I want you at my side.”
The son replied with a sad heart, “Dear father, I can’t come home. Too much has passed between us. The distance is too far.”
The father replied, “Return as far as you can, my son, and I will come to you the rest of the way.”
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As we celebrate this feast of The Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth, our eyes turn where Mary is always pointing, to her Son, who understands us so well. He knows the baggage we’re carrying, the fears and angers, hatreds and prejudices, sins, confusions, and all sorts of junk. He knows! And knowing all that, He says to us what the king said to his son, “Return as far as you can, and I will come to you the rest of the way.” That’s what God did for us, when He made Mary Jesus’ mother. He came out to a spot where we could meet Him and not be afraid, and where we could finally open our arms and say, “Father!”
God continues to “come the rest of the way” for us every day. In doing that, He’s not just taking care of us, He’s showing us what He wants us to become, and that is reconcilers, people who have learned the habit of coming the rest of the way for one another.
Too much of life is frittered away with people getting angry and staying angry at one another. Angry at their parents and spouses, brothers and sisters, angry at their colleagues, their clergy, their contractor, and God knows who else. What a waste, especially when we know that so often the evil is in the eye of the beholder and nowhere else!
So why not pay attention to what the Lord is trying to teach us? Here it is: It makes no difference who’s at fault. Take the initiative, the way the Lord does. Seek out the person you dubbed “my enemy.” Name your hurt, your shame, your sorrow, your resentment, whatever it is that needs naming, and begin the search for peace … and leave your calculator at home!
Help the other person break out of the trap built by anger, resentment, or shame. Help the other save face, if that’s the issue. Do what needs to be done, and don’t hold back. It’s hard work, no doubt. But in doing it we become like God, and our hearts will grow large and happy and full — just like God’s!
That is God’s promise, and He always keeps His word.