Does Your Spirit Ever Leap For Joy?

“Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb.”Luke 1:42

Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, Italy, (Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva) taken by Martha Wiggins, 2011

Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, Italy, (Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva) taken by Martha Wiggins, 2011

In Luke, Chapter 1, verses 42-45, we hear Elizabeth’s words of greeting to Mary.  The baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy upon hearing Mary’s greeting, causing Elizabeth to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to cry out in a loud voice, “Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb”.  This Biblical story is known as The Visitation and the baby in Elisabeth was John The Baptist who would later herald the way for our beloved Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

At the time of her arrival Mary had already been through a lot.  Not only was she exhausted from the long journey, but she had also been visited by an Angel, become pregnant, suffered through an inquisition by her own parents along with Joseph and his, and had become the brunt of much community gossip and speculation. After an eventual acceptance of her pregnancy, and Joseph’s agreement to fulfill the marriage contract (which took a visit from an Angel to convince and assure him), Mary was in great need of a respite from it all. It was agreed that she would go for an extended visit to her cousin.

How relieved and comforted she must have been upon her arrival to hear Elisabeth’s greeting, to find that Elizabeth knew the truth with no explanations necessary!  At last she could let her guard down and rest in comfort. At last she could reflect on all that had occurred and truly let her inner joy manifest itself aloud.

Has your Spirit ever leapt for Joy? Imagine if we could be as Elizabeth and truly recognize Jesus within others as we greet or meet them.  Imagine if we were filled with the Holy Spirit prompting us when we were in His presence in the body of someone else. Imagine how our hearts would leap for joy just to be near Him causing us to cry out blest is that person.  Imagine their response!  Well, maybe we shouldn’t cry out, but rather mention how it was a nice blessing to see them or to meet them. Imagine how they might feel as if someone finally saw them for who they truly were, a child of God, worthy of consideration, worthy of respect. Now imagine if it happened to you.

How differently we would all behave if this scenario played out again and again throughout the day. The truth is we are busy about our worldly business and don’t often recognize Him, not in others, not even in ourselves. How sad to miss out on such acceptance and joy.

At least for today, let’s try channeling both our inner Mary and Elisabeth. Try to recognize Jesus within yourself and through His Spirit look outward at all you meet to seek Him within them. Try to feel His Presence stir within you just as Elizabeth must have felt the baby within her womb. His Spirit is already among us, and if we we look we will surely see. Then our hearts and the hearts of all we interact with will be filled with joy. They might recognize it immediately but it will the Joy of His Presence.

As we develop this ability to look for and see Him in others immediately upon interacting with them, even if we lack the courage to verbalize it, we will always treat others in a way that validates them, a way that makes them whole. Like Mary, they may have already been through quite a lot.  And like Elizabeth, we will greet them with kindness and respect. Our own Spirit might even leap for Joy! 

Ask God to send His Spirit upon you today that you may recognize Him in all, including yourself.  Can you just imagine if we all did so?

Have, no, make it a Blessed day everyone! 🙏🏻❤️

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