In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, who has looked with favor on me, a lowly serving maid. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is the name of the Lord, whose mercy is on the God-fearing from generation to generation. The arm of the Lord is filled with strength, scattering the proudhearted. God cast the mighty from their thrones, lifting up the lowly; God filled the hungry with good things, sending the rich away empty. God has come to the help of Israel, the Lord’s servant, remembering mercy, the mercy promised to our forebears, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” – Luke 1:39-55
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, every humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red people…
For this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you and, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my parent’s parent…
Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.
This we know. The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. We do not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
Even the white people, whose God walks and talks with them as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers and sisters after all; we shall see. One thing we know, which the white people may one discover – our God is the same God.
Chief Seattle, Nineteenth century
O come, O Dayspring from on high
And cheer us by your drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Latin hymn, Ninth century
O Fire Divine, go through my heart.
O Light eternal, illuminate my soul.
May we discover you in our loving,
through the Spirit of Christ who abides in us. Amen.