Having 4 children and expecting a 5th, I definately feel like the odd man out at times- ok most of the time. In today's 2.3 children per family culture (if even), you really feel the stares, hear the comments, and see the reaction of so many others. Today, in a refreshing change of pace we were, not once, but 3 times applauded for our family size and the example we set.
We attended a different parish for today's (non-holy-day-of- obligation) Mass of the Asumption because of timing. Two different women came up to us, one in near tears, to say how much thy loved seeing us today and were really encouraging for them. Another compliment came from our waitress when we we out to dinner with some out of town family. This young woman was one of six and thought it was great to see another "big" family. She told us how much she enjoyed growing up the way she did and could see it in our children.
We don't look for compliments or approval from anyone as to our family size or how they act. We also are not out to shock anyone. We say yes to what God has planned for us and hope to do his will a best we can. Mary in today's Gospel travels to visit and help Elizabeth, despite the social stigma she must have faced. It was her "fiat" or "yes" that gave hope for all of us.
After thinking about the events of today, I told my wife that maybe the women we encountered today thought that no matter how the family has been marginalized today that there may just be hope yet for our domestic church and that we may see more couples saying "yes" to God, no matter what the call may be. Have you been listening?