Advent day 21: On empty

And Mary sang:  “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
      for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.  
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, 
   for the Mighty One has done great things for me and holy is his name.  
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.  
He has shown strength with his arm; 
      he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.”  Luke 1:46-53.

God “has filled he hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.”  An ominous warning?  Maybe, especially if one lives in one of the wealthiest countries on earth.  But perhaps it is also an invitation.

Mary’s words remind me of  the gospel story (Mark 10) where a rich young man came to talk to Jesus (Mary’s son).  The man wanted to know what he had to do to be a part of this abundant life Jesus kept talking about.  He was, you might say, hungry for more.  So Jesus invited him to sell all he had, give to the poor and come follow him, saying he would have treasures in heaven, but the man walked sadly away, presumably because he couldn’t leave his wealth.

He has “sent the rich away empty,” Mary said.  Or do we send ourselves?

A friend posted this quote recently:

“If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand,…we would know that the Kingdom of God is what we all of us hunger for above all other things even when we don’t know its name or realize that it’s what we’re starving to death for. The Kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know. We catch sight of it when at some moment of crisis a strength seems to come to us that is greater than our own strength. The Kingdom of God is where we belong. It is home, and whether we realize it or not, I think we are all of us homesick for it.”
— Frederick Buechner

Well said, brother Frederick.