The wisdom of Jesus is—Extraordinary. Life-changing. Victorious. Wise.
How quickly do you respond when God asks you to do something? Hi. I'm Matthew Kelly. Welcome back to Radical and Relevant, our exploration of the enduring wisdom of Jesus' teachings. In today's scripture, from the first chapter of Luke's Gospel, we witness Mary setting off to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with the child, John the Baptist. Keep in mind, we're listening for a word, a phrase, or an idea that leaps out. In those days, Mary arose and went with all haste into the hill country to a city of Judah. And she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why is this granted me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
The word today is joy. This is one of my favorite readings. Twenty-five years ago, I wrote A Call to Joy. The subtitle of that book is Living in the Presence of God. And the central theme is when we live in the presence of God, we dance for joy. Just as John the Baptist danced for joy in the womb of Elizabeth in today's reading, when he heard Mary's greeting which signaled the presence of God. And this reading is foreshadowed 1,000 years earlier in second book of Samuel when David danced for joy before the Ark of the Covenant. Remembering the Ark represented the presence of God in the midst of the Jewish people. We dance for joy in God's presence. If we want to fill our lives with joy, the first step is being mindful of God's presence.
I just got done writing 33 Days to Eucharistic Glory. This is the first ever consecration of the Eucharist, and working on it was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. One of the themes I explored was, how do we remain mindful of the presence of God at every moment of every day? It's so easy to be distracted by the things of this world. This is the simple technique I offered in the book. At every moment of every day, for the rest of your life, always know where the nearest tabernacle is. Know when you go to bed at night, know when you wake up each morning, and know where He is as you move about the world each day. This simple technique will change your life. It will allow you to be ever mindful of God's presence in this world throughout each and every day of your life. God's presence brings joy. The phrase that has always captured my imagination in this reading is, "Mary went with all haste."
This is a spectacular phrase. When was the last time you responded to your spouse, parents, customers with all haste? When you're asked to do something, do you respond with an enthusiasm to serve? Have we lost sight of the fact that our very purpose is to serve God and others? Mary rushed off to serve Elizabeth. It was her first reaction too often my first reaction is one of selfishness. I don't feel like it, I'll do it later. Can't someone else take care of it? But Mary had an instinct to serve and ingrain humility. And she went with all haste. God wants to fill us with a holy sense of urgency. Every day people are losing hope. God seems far from them. They feel forgotten, invisible, unloved. So much is at stake. Mary wants to teach us to love God and neighbor with this holy sense of urgency.
The idea that strikes me in today's reading is these are amazing women. These are amazing women. Mary and Elizabeth are extraordinary women, and it doesn't stop there. There are tons of amazing Catholic women. Teresa of Ávila, Catherine of Sienna, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Faustina, Catherine Drexel, Joan of Arc, Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa. Clare of Assisi. And then there are the amazing women I see in every parish I visit. And all the amazing women who have been part of Dynamic Catholic's Ministry over the past 15 years. Catholic women are amazing.
What makes them amazing? They do their part. It may be small and hidden, but they do it diligently. The world is the way it is today, and the Church is the way it is today because lots of people didn't do their small part. May not be able to do everything. But we can still do our little bit. So, let's decide here and now. Today, to do our part however small. And to do it with all haste. This holy sense of urgency is a real gift. Today I want to invite you to do your small part by becoming a Dynamic Catholic ambassador. Each year, this ministry serves more than 10 million people and 10 000 parishes. How is this possible? It's possible because a bunch of people like yourself make the sacrifice and give $10 a month. If enough people do that, amazing things become possible. So, I know you're busy. But if you recognize the power of this work and would like more people to experience it, please adopt a holy sense of urgency around joining us in this work. Become an ambassador today and we will send you a free copy of 33 Days to Eucharistic Glory. And decide here, now, today, I will not leave my little bit undone. Click the button below and become an ambassador today.
To those of you who are already ambassadors, thank you. Your generosity is having an enormous impact. We have sent you a copy of 33 Days to Eucharistic Glory as a Christmas gift along with our family Christmas card which always seems to be a big hit. Have a great day and remember, be bold, be Catholic.
Thank you, ambassadors. You are changing the world! Have a great day. Bye, bye. Simon, come sit.
Have a great day!