Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels. Perhaps the most well-known biblical angel is Gabriel, who visited Mary to announce she would bear God’s Son, Jesus. Our devotional reading comes from A Year in the New Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year.
Daniel 10:10–14; 12:1–3
Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.
How terrifying it must have been for Mary after the angel departed. Who could possibly believe the news that had been told her? Another explanation of her pregnancy would leap to the mind of sinful men—and even her espoused Joseph. But the angel had told her that Elizabeth was carrying a miracle baby too, and so Mary heads down to Judea to find her kinswoman.
As the voice of Mary’s greeting reaches Elizabeth’s ears, John does a somersault of joy in her aged womb. Suddenly Elizabeth understands. The Holy Spirit tells her the secret of the ages, and she stands and stares in wonder at the young woman before her.
“Blessed are you among women,” she cries out. “And blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Indeed, the One foretold to Abraham, who would bring blessing to every family of the earth, was literally in front of her. “Why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
At this point, one can imagine the blessed Virgin’s relief and joy. She’s not the only one who knows this secret. Elizabeth knows, and even better, believes. Elizabeth cries out, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
So Elizabeth teaches us the true blessedness of the blessed Virgin. She is blessed in being mother of the Blessed One, but she is also blessed in believing the astonishing promise of God to her. Mary can keep it in no longer. She bursts forth into a song of praise that the Church has delighted to sing with her for century upon century: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Yes, all generations from that time forward have and will call Mary “blessed.”
Devotional reading is adapted from A Year in the New Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year, page 385 © 2010 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Hymn of the Day
Hymn of the Day is "Lord God, to Thee We Give All Praise" from Twenty-Seven Hymn Harmonizations for Reformation by Henry V. Gerike,
© 2016 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.