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.”
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
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.
From the very beginning, the good news of Jesus is meant to be shared. Mary has just agreed to be the mother of Jesus, and, already “in haste,” she travels to share the good news with her cousin. She can’t help herself; the good news impels her!
Likewise, in our own lives, the good news is meant to be shared—and not just with those who don’t know Jesus. That kind of evangelization is important; Jesus demands it. But the Visitation proposes that we ought to share the joy of the Gospel with our fellow Christians as well. Indeed, Elizabeth already knows about Jesus when Mary arrives. But that doesn’t lessen the joy these sisters share. Rather, the joy is redoubled as they celebrate God’s work together.
How has the Mighty One done great things for you this week? With whom might you share and celebrate that good news?
—Daniel Everson, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the U.S. Central Southern province, is currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is God’s name!
—from Mary’s Magnificat song