At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”Luke 1:39-45
We have just completed the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection, and suddenly we’ve switched to the time before Jesus’ birth. I find this to be one of the wonderful things about our yearly liturgical cycle.
We have another chance to meet Jesus!
I love the way that Elizabeth acknowledged the holy nature of Mary’s child in this reading. And her baby (who became John the Baptist) recognized Him as well.
But the humble Mother saw her role simply as handmaid – she assumed no divinity.
Mary said:Luke 1:45-55, The Magnificat
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Surely most peoples’ pride would cause them to want a piece of the action? But our Blessed Virgin Mother was simply immersed in gratitude and praise.