“Mary set out, traveled to the hill country … entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” So begins Sunday’s Gospel, the beautifully intimate encounter of these two women both holding within themselves fulfillment of longing and promise of blessing.
The fulfillment? For Elizabeth, an old barren woman, is finally with child. For Mary carries within her womb the fulfillment of ages of longing of the Jewish people.
And the Promise! Elizabeth, will bear John who will be great in the sight of the Lord. Mary will bear Jesus, who will be called the Prince of Peace!
What a visit this visitation must have been! We can readily imagine the excitement that both of these women held in their hearts. Really, is it any wonder that even the babe in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy? I suspect that the babe in Mary’s womb also leapt!
As we anticipate the arrival of the celebration of Christ’s birth, may we too be filled with the joy that is a gift of the Spirit. May we remember that, as Mary, so we are called to be bearers of Christ to one another and to our planet earth.
Truly, blessed are we in whom the promise is being fulfilled. Let us, too, leap for joy!!