3rd Week of Advent
How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth was remarkable in many ways. Most of us would not be inclined to make such a hurried journey—especially not in the first trimester of pregnancy! Yet Mary went “in haste” to Elizabeth’s home (Luke 1:39). It’s doubtful she traveled in any kind of luxury; she probably walked or rode on a donkey. Not only was her body undergoing new and unfamiliar changes because of her condition, but she was probably also feeling protective of the baby growing in her. But it didn’t matter. Whereas most pregnant women would avoid strenuous activity, Mary dove right in. She had to go see her cousin!
In her book The Reed of God, British writer Caryll Houselander explains Mary’s thinking this way: “Elizabeth was going to have a child, too, and although Mary’s own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth’s need—almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her.” So off she went.
What happened next seems as if it was a gift from God to honor Mary’s generosity and unselfishness. At the sound of her voice, the infant John leapt in Elizabeth’s womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in joy. Through these two faith-filled women, life called out to life and filled both of them with gladness and expectant hope.
As Advent draws to a close, try to take a cue from our Blessed Mother. Think about making a “visitation” of your own by reaching out to someone who is lonely or hurting or in need of some help. It may not be a convenient or easy thing to do, but neither was Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. You’ll almost certainly bring God’s love and joy to that other person. And just as God honored Mary’s arduous journey, he will honor you and bless you for whatever sacrifice you make for another one of his children. Who knows? You may both feel the Holy Spirit welling up inside of you, bringing you closer together and filling you with the surety that God is with you.
“Mary, in these days leading up to Christmas, pray that I can become as generous and unselfish as you are.”
Song of Songs 2:8-14
Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Word Among Us