There is so much to notice in this story, but my eye keeps going back to Abraham, sitting in the entrance of that hot tent in the heat of the day. And here is what keeps catching my eye: Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby.
He was sitting, looking out at the endless, silent desert. He must have been able to see miles ahead, and the approach of three strangers could have been observed for hours before they arrived outside his tent. But, no, he looked up and saw them. No camels kicking up telltale dust three hours earlier. No neighboring Bedouins calling out that strangers were coming. He looked up, and there they were.
Is it possible that those three “men”―the angels posted with God to announce the birth of Isaac―had been standing at the entrance to Abraham’s tent from the beginning of time? What great cloud of witnesses surrounds us, waiting for us to look up and see? What miracles hover near us, waiting for us to notice?
Which brings us back to the Gospel today. Mary looked up and saw Jesus in her home, and she never took her eyes off of him. She showed the greatest hospitality by making room for him in her soul and spirit― by truly seeing who it was who was sent to her, and never leaving his side. She teaches us the meaning of the mystic’s sense of prayer:
Prayer is gazing at God, who is gazing at you.
Sharing God’s Word at Home
Do you think you have ever encountered an angel?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).