In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s Gospel picks up where we left off yesterday. Mary has just consented to God’s invitation to become Jesus’ mother. And what is her first response? She packs a bag and literally heads for the hills to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is also pregnant and likely could use a hand. Mary’s first response is to be of service to another. Elizabeth welcomes Mary humbly and with great joy marveling that the “mother of my Lord” would bother to come to her.
Ignatius often invites us to end our prayer by engaging in a colloquy, or intimate conversation, between ourselves and God the Father, Jesus, or Mary. Elizabeth models this beautifully in Luke’s account, acknowledging that Mary’s willingness to actively participate in God’s plan for salvation has earned her the honor of being blessed among all women.
Imagine yourself in conversation with the Blessed Mother. What would be your prayer?
O gentle and loving mother, we thank you for your willingness to be God’s handmaid and to labor with God to bring into being our Lord and Savior. Your “yes” changed the course of history and turns our Advent longings into Christmas joy. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God!