In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Today’s Gospel unites two women whose pregnancies are miracles of God’s grace. The elderly Elizabeth had been barren, a cursed condition in this culture and thus a source of great shame. Elizabeth’s relative Mary is neither aged nor infertile, yet her child’s conception is even more miraculous because achieved by the Holy Spirit’s direct action.
In a society where we can legally destroy the lives of unborn children, today’s Gospel reminds us that every child conceived in a mother’s womb is sacred to God, personally created and cherished. This includes each one of us!
Elizabeth and Mary understand that their children have special vocations, unique roles in salvation history. They are prepared to consecrate their children to God from whom they come as gifts. Do we teach our children and grandchildren that marriage is a beautiful vocation from God? Do we foster in our young people openness to the special vocation of priesthood or consecrated life?
— Fr. Rob Kroll, S.J. is Superior of the Jesuit Community at Creighton Prep, Omaha, NE.
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.