In the Gospel passage we will hear on Sunday we have an amazing event taking place. It is the story of Mary’s visit to her cousin, Elizabeth.
But the account of the meeting of these two expectant women is about more than Mary and Elizabeth coming together to talk about babies.
In this meeting, called by the Church through the centuries, The Visitation, we see the merging of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant.
It is also the first meeting of the two baby boys Mary and Elizabeth are carrying inside of them, John the Baptist, and Jesus.
At the sound of Mary’s greeting, John, in the womb, does a joyful little leap. The angel Gabriel told John’s father, Zechariah, that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit even in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). And so, when Mary greets Elizabeth, the Spirit causes John to leap for joy at the recognition and presence of the Messiah.
Two expectant mothers, one old, one young. One was six months along; the other, newly pregnant. And the fact that they were expecting was totally unexpected! Both were pregnant when neither one of them should have been, under normal circumstances. But these circumstances were anything but normal.
The word “frantic” fits much of the activity in this last week before Christmas. There are even hints of it in Luke’s Gospel: “Mary set out and traveled… in haste”. But Mary’s urgency was the deep and tremendous drive to share the greatest good news this earth has ever heard. The Messiah is coming!
What fuels our haste?
Here we stand in front of this Gospel. The words hitting our eardrums, but is the event, the message, hitting our hearts?
We believe in the Incarnation. We believe in the paschal mystery. Yes, we believe! From the stable to the empty tomb, we believe, and we trust in God.
The presence of Christ among us should bring us great joy and the Gospel sound that greets us in Mass lets us know that Jesus is here; a most blessed visitation indeed!
Let us also leap for joy and into his word!