First Reading: Revelation 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB
God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.”
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 45:10, 11, 12, 16
The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold. The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir. Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear, forget your people and your father’s house. So shall the king desire your beauty; for he is your lord. They are borne in with gladness and joy; they enter the palace of the king.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for “he subjected everything under his feet.”
Gospel: Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
What a year it has been! Well, almost a year; it’s been almost a year since Blessed Is She first opened its online gates and what a year it has been indeed.
We’ve gone from a start up group asking friends and family for likes and shares to be inundated with additions to our Regional Groups, women sitting through the Liturgical Year with our planners and writers and readers a like connecting, face to face in brunches and small meetings all over the country. In fact, not just the country, all over the world!
Women from all walks of life, all backgrounds and ages are meeting, connecting, praying and growing with each other together.
We, like that small child Elizabeth holds under her heart, are leaping with joy.
It’s so easy to get discouraged with the way of the world, a lot has changed in the last year whether it’s in a big way or just in our own families and neighborhoods. We’ve all had set backs, tears and joys, but throughout that we’ve sought a connection through something bigger than ourselves. We have heard Mary’s greeting; we have heard her call, God’s call, to each of us to seek out a way to bring Scripture and prayer into our lives, to find like-minded women, to pray and support each other: here we are.
Like Saint Catherine of Siena says, we are being who we are meant to be and we are setting the world on fire. We are connecting in age that tells us to disconnect. We are challenging ourselves in a world that tells us it’s okay to take the easy way out. Everyday I log on to this computer and I see Blessed Is She on fire with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I see the wonder, reverence and awe of God in our lives as we share the miracles, big and small. I see wisdom and counsel as we share our experiences and our knowledge. I see understanding as we learn to speak to one another about the challenges we face and the questions we struggle with. I see strength in the women who share with us the difficulties in their lives and in the women who hold up their sisters, even with such a simple act as a “like” on status or a reply to an email.
It is amazing to see the work this little website is doing in our readers’ lives. It’s amazing to see the work it is doing in the lives of our writers.
So today I greet you, sister; sisters who have been here since the beginning and sister who is new to us. We are glad you are here. You are a blessing to us and a blessing to the world. We hope you will find solace here, a place to be yourself, to find fortitude in God and in each other. We look forward to the coming year and can’t wait to see how you will continue to proclaim the wonder of God and to rejoice together as He moves within us.
You are here because God wants something from you, He wants something from your life. This year we will listen to what God is asking of us, big and small and set the world on fire with His love. We will go out into the world to speak His words, to do His work, and to do all in His name remembering all the time that blessed is she who lets God in to her life and who goes in His name to her sister to share the good news.
Molly Walter is a wife, mother and homemaker (with a pesky job outside the home). She shares about making the life she wants with the life she’s been given over here.