Daily Thought For December 21,2017
Beautiful Insights Into The Visitation
“… for joy …”
Christmas is just a few days away. Most of us still have lots of things to do as we prepare for our liturgies and our family celebrations. And so, today’s Gospel is especially for us. We find echoes of the pre-holiday hustle and bustle in Mary’s hasty journey through the difficult hill country.
Mary was very young, pregnant, and certainly preoccupied with her own future. For these reasons we are moved by her thoughtfulness, concern, and care every time we read this passage. In announcing to her God’s plans, the Archangel Gabriel tells her, as a means of reassuring her, that her older, barren cousin is also with child. Mary goes quickly to Elizabeth, eager to serve.
We expect exuberance from the young. It is one of life’s delights. Luke recreates this delight in the heart of today’s Advent saint, Elizabeth. We are not told the words or manner of Mary’s greeting to Elizabeth, but we can imagine how it must have been by Elizabeth’s reaction; “The moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” At that moment of encounter, the Holy Spirit has filled the older woman’s heart and she cries out an astonished blessing. How could she have known Mary’s own sweet secret? From where does her prophetic praise arise? How does she know the young girl has brought the Promised One to her humble home?
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas this year, let us return to this scene and imagine the days that followed and try to feel the joy that must have dwelt in every little word and gesture these holy women shared. As the day of Christ’s coming nears, let our hearts leap and our voices cry out in joy.
Lord, I address this prayer to your Mother knowing the joy that gives you. Mary, reflecting on your journey and the meeting that took place between you and Elizabeth is to me a portrait of grace. You illustrate the gentle yet exuberant approach of God’s grace to my soul and, in Elizabeth, I see the soul’s astounded but joyful reception. May you, the Mother full of grace, make me a kind and joyful person, willing to serve unselfishly.
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2009). Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 72–73). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.