Lk 1:39–47 (or Lk 1:26-38)
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 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!”
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior!
Luke, the evangelist, points often to the action of the Holy Spirit and to the joy he sheds. The visitation of Mary to Elizabeth is bathed in this atmosphere. Mary’s son is conceived by the Holy Spirit and her visit to the old cousin is under his grace. Elizabeth is filled similarly with the Holy Spirit and expresses the joy of the son in her own womb. Therefore her words are especially inspired. They constitute the most complete praise of the faith of Mary and her mission. It is really touching to hear this old woman favored by God with gracious maternity in her greeting to her young cousin, and acknowledging that singular privilege. Undoubtedly, she contributes to the deep awareness of Mary’s grace. She was able to provoke the most beautiful canticle of praise and thanksgiving: the Magnificat. So the final words of this wonderful scene are bathed anew in the Spirit’s joy.
Can we ask Mary and Elizabeth the grace of sharing their faith and joy by just preparing our participation in the celebrations of Jesus’ birth?
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