Saint Stephen's Statue.

ST. STEPHEN'S

CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

12, Gbeto Street, Off Iwaya Road, Onike-Iwaya, Yaba-Lagos.
info@ststepheniwaya.org

Saint Stephen's Building.
 

Scripture: 1st Reading: Song of Songs 2:8-14; Zephaniah 3:14-18; Resp. Psalm: Psalm 32:2-3,11-12,20-21; Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

The Holy Spirit confirms the divinity of the unborn Son in the wombMary visited Elizabeth to be with her. What a profound humility. What an unassuming love and closeness to another to whom divine favour had been shown even in old age. What a lowering of the self, notwithstanding the status of the Holy Child she was carrying in her womb.

In that encounter, the Holy Spirit confirmed the reality of the divinity of the God-Son. The Holy Spirit that overshadowed the Virgin with the power of the Almighty now filled Elizabeth by virtue of the privilege of the divine Visitor who had come with His virgin mother into the abode of the Zechariahs.

With the inspiration from on high, Elizabeth prophesied and displayed supernatural knowledge and intuition that was beyond her normal human capacities. Elizabeth exclaimed: "Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." In other words, the honour done this Virgin by the Most High was proclaimed by Elizabeth. That honour made her the most blessed of all created beings born of women.

Not only this, Elizabeth proclaimed the divinity of the fruit that was in the womb of her cousin. It should be clear to us here that we are here in the presence of mystery: Elizabeth had no pre-knowledge of what God had done in the life of her cousin. But the Holy Spirit revealed it to her immediately she heard the voice of Mary, even without seeing her face to face. She recognized the presence of God in the virginal womb of her cousin.

In this same encounter that God used to reveal His actions in favour of our salvation, Elizabeth called Mary "the mother of my Lord" and asked why she should receive such an honour of a visit. Not only this. There was a communication between the God-Child in Mary's womb and the man-child in Elizabeth's womb. The man-child leaped for joy in the womb of his mother, thus acknowledging the privilege of the moment and the great honour to be so visited by his Lord and Master.

Finally, Elizabeth acknowledged under the influence of the Holy Spirit the extraordinary faith of Mary, the mother of God in these immortal words: "Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled." With these words, Elizabeth acknowledged Mary's acceptance to collaborate with God the Father in His plan to save mankind.

The First Reading from the Song of Songs tell us of the unquenchable love the Virgin mother of God had for Yahweh, the God of Israel. Yahweh is the One who called out to her in love and invited her to collaborate with Him out of love for our fallen and debased humanity.

The reading from prophet Zephaniah expresses the joy that this daughter of Zion would experience as a result of the repealing of the sentence against humanity. It prophesies about the presence of the King of Israel in the midst of His people and the banishment of fear forever.

These words comfort and inspire us as we await the commemoration of His coming. Let us let these sentiments of joy penetrate the innermost places of our being. Let the words propel us with sentiments of joy and gratitude at what God did for us by giving us the unmerited privilege of the presence of His Son.

Let us pray: "Hear in kindness, O Lord, the prayers of your people, that those who rejoice at the coming of your Only Begotten Son in our flesh may, when at last he comes in glory, gain the reward of eternal life." Amen

May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.

Calendar

May 2018
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May 2017
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