Praise, you servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD both now and forever.

What’s in a word?  As I read the readings for the day, I was a bit worried about what to post this morning.  Not the easiest readings to contemplate.  In the first reading a man pledges to kill the first person that comes out of his house to greet him IF the Lord delivers up the Ammonites to him.  The Lord holds up His end of the bargain and  – here is the portion of the reading…

“Alas, daughter, you have struck me down
and brought calamity upon me.
For I have made a vow to the LORD and I cannot retract.”
She replied, “Father, you have made a vow to the LORD.
Do with me as you have vowed,
because the LORD has wrought vengeance for you
on your enemies the Ammonites.”
Then she said to her father, “Let me have this favor.

Spare me for two months, that I may go off down the mountains
to mourn my virginity with my companions.”
“Go,” he replied, and sent her away for two months.
So she departed with her companions
and mourned her virginity on the mountains.
At the end of the two months she returned to her father,
who did to her as he had vowed.

The Gospel is really just as challenging…people killing the messengers of the Lord; people refusing the Lords invitation to the wedding feast; and people, because of their casual dress at the Feast, being bound and removed from it…

But when the king came in to meet the guests
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
But, with today being the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, we have other choices to read and contemplate.  Today we again contemplate the importance of the role of Mary in our Salvation History.  And today’s closing words from the Gospel is where my inspiration came from…Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
As I read the words, my thoughts immediately went to the Gospel of John – and if I’m not mistaken, the following passage is both my Mother’s favorite passage from Scripture and my wife’s.  It is the opening to John’s Gospel…

In the beginning* was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.a

He was in the beginning with God.

3* All things came to be through him,

and without him nothing came to be.b

What came to be through him was life,

and this life was the light of the human race;c

5* the light shines in the darkness,d

and the darkness has not overcome it.

6* A man named John was sent from God .eHe came for testimony,* to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him .fHe was not the light, but came to testify to the light .gThe true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.h

10 He was in the world,

and the world came to be through him,

but the world did not know him.

11 He came to what was his own,

but his own people* did not accept him.

12i  But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name,13 * j who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh*

and made his dwelling among us,

and we saw his glory,

the glory as of the Father’s only Son,

full of grace and truth. k

So to answer my opening question – what’s in a word?  Our entire salvation is the Word – not a word but THE WORD.

Do something great for our Lord today – do the duck dance.Just as David danced before the Ark; just as John the Baptist leaped for joy in Elizabeth’s womb when the Ark of New Covenant came to them – our Blessed Mary with THE WORD inside of her, so to dance today in utter joy of the wedding we’ve been invited to participate in.  Be one of the few chosen.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

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