Reflections on Sacred Scripture

by Cyndi Cain

The Visitation of Mary coming to Elizabeth represents Jesus' desire to come to us every second of our lives.

"And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who has believed, because the things promised her by the Lord shall be accomplished.'"

Luke 1: 42-45

       The Gospel for this Sunday (Luke 1:39-45) tells us of the time when the Blessed Mother went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.

      There are two considerations that Our Lord brings to my heart and soul in this Gospel, that He desires we reflect upon.

      First, the Blessed Mother was pregnant with Our Lord, Jesus Christ. She was newly married. The trip to Elizabethís was not an easy one, and she would be gone from her own home in Nazareth for quite some time, leaving not only the town of her birth, but the home she dearly loved and the husband she loved so chastely and divinely. She went to perform a service for her cousin, thinking, as she did throughout her entire life, of others, never herself. Hers was a selfless act of exquisite charity, and that same exquisite charity belonged also to Joseph, who lovingly sent her on her way, accompanying her part of the way, before returning to continue his labors as a carpenter in Nazareth. Mary did not go to gloat over her own Divinely Incarnated Child, for she was never one to boast or brag. She went because someone needed her, because she wanted to work for Elizabeth, to be there for her when her own child would be born.

      Second, look at the humility with which the two cousins met one another. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, went rushing out to meet Mary. She was so grateful for her arrival, that she was there for her. But, to Elizabethís great surprise, as she neared Mary, the Holy Spirit informed her of Maryís pregnancy, of the Incarnation, that the child in Maryís womb was indeed the Son of God. Elizabeth, in perfect humility and understanding and trust, accepted the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and exclaimed, "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby stirred in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who trusted that the Lordís words to her would be fulfilled."

      What joy is expressed here from Elizabeth to Mary, from the as yet un-born John in his motherís womb. If there was a cause for abortion-rights advocates to pause and reconsider, this passage should help. The "baby" also enlightened by the Holy Spirit recognized the "baby" in Maryís womb as the Son of God, the Messiah, and the un-born John the Baptist leapt with joy in Elizabethís womb. And the humility in Elizabeth! She cried out with joy unto God and told Mary how blessed was she among all women, the same words we say in the "Hail Mary."

      Just as Elizabeth was expecting only her young cousin to come and help out around the house and to help her prepare for the birth of her child, Elizabeth received so very much more because of her faith and her trust in God. "Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

      Let us ponder these words as we enter now the final week of Advent, crying out with joyful trust that, on Christmas Day, the Infant Jesus shall spiritually, mystically come into our hearts and souls, given unto us that day by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us recognize this great mystery and trust that in all things Godís Will is absolutely perfect and our correspondence to His Perfect Will is that which brings us the joy and peace that only He can give, for not only Christmas, but every single day. That Jesus is born we shall exclaim on Christmas Day at Holy Mass! Let us also strive to exclaim that every day, by having Jesus live and dwell in us by our trust, our love, our faith and hope in Him that keeps us going frequently to the Sacraments, so as to have our souls filled with sanctifying grace, so He may be King forever of our hearts and souls unto Eternity.

December 1997