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Let it be according to Your Word

On March 25 we commemorated the conception of Jesus. Today the Wednesday after Pentecost we commemorate Mary's visit to her cousin. On this visit something extraordinary happens. The baby in the womb acknowledged Mary as special. Mary I believe, responds declaring her understanding of what being the 'God bearer' means.

Today is also referred to as an Ember day. And this week an ember week. This is observed 4 times a year and coincides with the changes of seasons from winter through to autumn. also to the liturgical cycles of the Church. The spring Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the First Sunday of Lent; the summer Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Pentecost; the fall Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the third Sunday in September and the winter Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of Saint Lucy (December 13).

Over the centuries the emphasis of the commemoration has changed. An Ember week should be a time of spiritual renewal and gratitude. On these days we pay attention to the ministry and mission of the Church. We use the collects for ministry. On Wednesday we remember those who serve as ordained and commissioned workers and those to be ordained. On Friday we pray for those who are being called that they may accept the call and on Saturday all Christians as they work to glorify God in their respective spaces.

On this ember day, the embers that flicker is an awareness of being God's holy and chosen children being worthy of God's love despite the circumstances. Mary was a shining example of this. Being pregnant and unmarried did not condemn her but allowed her to show that the glory of God can be found among ordinary people. It's a day calling us to look inside ourselves and to say let it be with me according to your word.

Celebrating, during the days immediately after Pentecost, we are reminded that the revelation of the spirit happens in in unexpected ways. God showed up even as a baby to another baby. The spirit caused the baby in Elizabeth's womb to leap and Mary to burst into a prophetic word. God reaches out to people where they are as baby to baby, pregnant woman to pregnant woman and woman in song to the rest of us.

Mary's song as it is often called tells us that God is on the side of the oppressed and the downtrodden. It says God has lifted up the lowly and filled the hungry with good things.

God does not only look out for individuals, God looks out for groups of people. God humbles those who think that they are all powerful and are the ones in charge. God looks out for God's chosen people from generation to generation.

This ember day tells us we have no need to fear to be God bearers. Through Mary, God came and dwelt among us. God the human - Jesus showed us, how to live the way of love. However as in every generation our greed and selfishness dominates. We are all God bearers in different ways. We have been empowered by God, to bear God's name to others.

In the ember tradition of Wednesdays being the days we remember those who are ordained and commissioned, we celebrate Mary the God bearer as being commissioned for that task. We reflect that we too are commissioned to God's work.

The questions for us to ponder are then:

1. what is God commissioning you to do differently? How are we going to bear God's name? In what ministry are you being called to serve?

2. Looking within, how are you going to align yourself with what God is calling you to do?

We need to ponder these things constantly. Because just like how there are physical seasons, life changes and so how we respond may change and is important. We are always called to respond as Mary:

To recognize we have been called to act as Mary did.

To share with others in such a way that they too can recognize not only God active in their life, but that they too have been commissioned to glorify God in their daily life.

May we be as courageous as Mary and answer God's call on our life. May we too say "Let it be to us according to your word."

Let us pray

O Mary, Mother of God, may we be like you accepting God's will for us. May we have the joy that caused you to erupt into song. May we recognize as you did that God is on the side of the less fortunate and the marginalized. we pray that we will despite our embarrassment and fear of rejection that we will boldly stand on the side of those who have no voice. On this day we ask you to intercede with us on behalf those who are sick homebound and unwell, we remember those who have chosen not to share what is happening with them. We remember those who are stressed. The family of Ugene Morgan from Pepper as they mourn her death.

Mother of God pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Creator God, today we remember those who are to be ordained, priests and the persons being trained to be supplementary ministers, those who are considering full time ministry and all persons in their various vocation. Keep them faithful to your calling. We ask this in the name of Christ and for his sake.

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