Mary Visits Elizabeth
Reflection on the Gospel of the Sunday Fourth Sunday Of Advent
Today’s Gospel Reading is perhaps the most iconic images of the Bible. The visitation is a significant event recited in every rosary of the Joyful mysteries. It marks the meeting of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, the messenger for the Messiah and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, God Incarnate. It is an absolute miracle Elizabeth conceives in her old age and Mary conceives as a young Virgin. The impossible suddenly became possible and there’s so much joy when a once hopeless or confused situation is now transformed into a blessing.
Consider Israel around 3 BC, no modern means of transport, uncomfortable, long travel days with extreme desert temperatures and certainly no guarantee of safe travel. Yet, Mary forgets her challenges and inconveniences to go and help her much older cousin Elizabeth. This is simply an outstanding example of Mary’s humility.
Another aspect to consider is that these two women are the only women in the whole wide world who are given the privilege to anticipate the coming of the heavenly King. Both of them were never in direct communication with each other. Yet when they meet, they exactly know what each one is going through. It is a special bond wrapped up in the grace, love and joy of God in union with the Holy Spirit. Both women are really not sure what their future is to be or what is expected of them but they joyfully accept the Will of God and take comfort in each other.
Like Mary, we too are called to reach out, to help out, to empathize, to believe in the goodness of God. It is He who through the Holy Spirit strengthens us, guides us, changes our hearts and motivates us to make the impossible possible. But are we ready to listen and do the Will of God? Are we ready to trust in His plans for us even though we might not fully understand it but knowing that following God’s will fills us with peace and joy.