As we get to the end of Advent, the lectionary invites us to reflect on the scene of the young virgin Mary visiting her older cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth is six months pregnant with John the Baptist, while Mary has just been told that she herself is going to have a child. Luke, the great story-teller, narrates the meeting with wonderful emotion:
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,
"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." (Lk 1:39-45)
|The Visitation - Raphael|