Friday of the Third Week of Advent
(Song of Songs 2:8-14; Luke 1:39-45)
Faith may be defined as the jumping to a conclusion under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The faithful person has inconclusive evidence from the senses of God’s presence. She may attribute the good that is before her as an illusion summoned by her desire to know the depth of reality. But the Holy Spirit moves her to an acceptance of the divine love undergirding creation. We see faith at work two and a half times in today’s gospel.
“Filled with the Holy Spirit” Elizabeth recognizes Mary as “blessed among women” and “mother of my Lord.” The same Spirit has already prompted the baby in Elizabeth’s womb to leap in recognition of the Messiah in Mary’s womb. The “half” exhibition of faith comes from Elizabeth’s allusion to Mary’s response to the angel of God. The latter said in faith, “’…Be it done to me according to your word.’”
Even with the Spirit faith challenges us at times. God’s will may seem opposed to what we deem as desirable. Perhaps a loved one has become terminally sick. Or perhaps we want something we know is wrong for us. We must hold on to faith. That is, we must continue believing in divine love undergirding our very existence.