Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. (Luke 1: 39-56)
Because of its familiarity to us, today’s scripture can be read quickly and passed over. To do so is to pass over a powerful story of accepting God’s plan for our lives as well as teaching us a lesson about belief and trusting in God.
Stop for a moment and think of this very young woman. To say that she had to address a number of loose ends would be a major understatement. She had just been told by an angel that she was going to have a baby, and with that announcement a whole new set of responsibilities had been placed on her plate.
She would have to find a way of telling Joseph the news, and she certainly worried about his response. She had to face the issues of her physical health as a pregnant mother. She had to plan for the coming of the child, where he would sleep, what he would wear, and how he would impact the normal functioning of the home. Like every new mother Mary was filled with new questions, new responsibilities and new fears.
With all the issues Mary had to address, the last thing she needed was a journey to some Judean town in the hill country. But that is exactly what Mary decided to do. She chose to go out and visit her cousin Elizabeth.
There could have been a host of good excuses not to go, but Mary chose to follow none of them.
Through her example, Christ teaches us how to respond to God’s action in and around us: by believing in him and by trusting that whatever he may be asking of us is the best available option.
Who are we to argue with God, to disobey him? Will he deceive us? Will he lead us astray? Mary, partially enlightened by her heartfelt knowledge of God’s plan as revealed in the Old Testament scriptures, could not see clearly how God’s plans would work themselves out in the end. Even so, humbly and trustingly she put her faith in them, and for that wise faith she was “blessed among women,” as Elizabeth exclaimed. The Lord is constantly hoping that we will put our trust in him in the same way, so that he can shower his blessings upon us as well.
For Mary the primary thing was the people in her life. If her cousin was bearing new life, it was appropriate that the two should be together to celebrate that gift from God.
Elizabeth saw all of that in her cousin. So strongly that her baby, John the Baptist, jumped in her womb as Elizabeth greeted her cousin.
Devotion and obedience to God.
Love and obedience to her family.
The two should be intertwined in our personal lives. Yet, our world is full of those who aren’t devoted to God and live a life of disobedience to God.
Our world is also replete with families who have been torn apart because not all family members follow the same political path! Where is love in that? If we love God then we live a life of kindness and compassion. We revere our families because they were created by God and are meant to mirror his love for us.
We can’t pretend to love God if we are not living his love.
Mary found time to be with her cousin Elizabeth. Mary knew that nothing was more important than her and her cousin coming together to celebrate the new life that was growing within them. Let’s follow Mary’s example. Even if it means that you will not be able to do everything you want, do not let your responsibilities detract from the time and the appreciation of the people who are in your life, who love you and seek simply to live the love of Christ.
As Mary and Elizabeth did, so should we.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, your Mother was so prompt to recognize your presence and action. She knew that you are the source of every blessing. Her open, docile heart allowed you to shower your blessing upon her and upon all of us through her. Grant me the grace to have a heart that is willing to risk letting go of control, to surrender to your love in trust. In learning to recognize your blessing in my own life, may I also become a source of blessing for others.”
Mary, partially enlightened by her heartfelt knowledge of God’s plan as revealed in the Old Testament scriptures, could not see clearly how God’s plans would work themselves out in the end. Even so, humbly and trustingly she put her faith in them, and for that wise faith she was “blessed among women,” as Elizabeth exclaimed. The Lord is constantly hoping that we will put our trust in him in the same way, so that he can shower his blessings upon us as well.