“All who heard it were amazed.”  Amazement: a common experience of many within the Gospels. Peter was amazed at the catch of fish; people were amazed that Jesus had “done all things well” and also because of “the gracious words that came from his mouth”; and Mary, herself, was amazed to the point of exclaiming that God “has done great things for me.” Mary feels the amazement of giving birth and, as in other moments, she “ponders these (amazing) things in her heart.”

Amazement: when the power, grace, and goodness of God are experienced beyond what one thought could ever occur. No doubt, you and I, too, have perceived and do perceive the unmistakable goodness of God to us—even as we face the struggles of life—and often enough are amazed by those blessings and “holy happenings.”

—Fr. Richard Baumann, SJ serves as Tertian Director for the East Africa Jesuit province.  He is a native of Cincinnati, OH and a past provincial of the Chicago Province.