Gospel: Lk 1:39-45
Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb! How is it, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you, who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”
Many Christians, without being too much aware of it, are still under the influence of various heresies (Gnosticism, Manicheism, Montanism, Puritanism, Jansenism, etc.) which are anti-body. These Christians are distinctly uneasy when the topic of sex and physical love is mentioned. And so, they are shocked upon reading the Song of Songs, from which today’s first reading is taken. For this literary masterpiece describes the physical love between a young man and his young wife in lyrical terms of great beauty, not hesitating to go into some anatomical details!
This praise of mutual love is meant to be read at various levels. Its deepest level refers to God’s love for Israel and, by extension, to Christ’s love for his Church. Also, it refers to the union between Christ and the individual soul (which has no gender, being spiritual).
But also, let us not forget it, this exquisite poem is an inspired portrayal of ideal human love. Here God himself describes with unmatched poetry the sacredness and depth of married union. Let us not look down on what he has declared holy and sublime. Human love was invented by God, let us not forget.