St. Luke 1:39-44
friend, called to a war-torn country, writes, ‘I need a lot of prayers
in this work.’ God calls, but never leaves us unsupported. The angel has
told Mary about a soul-friend who could share her delight (v.36), so
she visits her relative, Elizabeth.
meeting between these two women, both expecting their first child, is
one of the most moving encounters in scripture. The intimate domestic
setting is vibrant with faith, joy and blessing. The Holy Spirit has
overshadowed Mary; the Son of God has begun to live within her.
Elizabeth’s unborn baby, who will prepare the way for the Lord, leaps in
his mother’s womb for joy. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
blesses Mary with the authority of an anointed prophet.
pregnancy, late in her life, can’t have been easy. She must have felt
very conspicuous, the butt of gossip, sharing her dumb husband’s
frustration at his God-given punishment because he had failed to believe
the very thing her pregnancy witnesses. If Mary needed Elizabeth’s
counsel and advice, Elizabeth needed Mary’s friendship and trust. It can
take a lot of faith to acknowledge the hidden potential in one another,
but Elizabeth unreservedly acknowledges unmarried Mary as ‘the mother
of my Lord’ – a clear statement that the child to be born of her is none
other than the Holy One of God.
blesses Mary twice and her unborn child once (vv.42, 45). We are often
too reserved to show our feelings, but, when we bless one another, we
grow in love. Instead of trying to change the other person, we give them
permission to be. Blessing is powerful. It brings growth and more
blessing. It releases creativity and joyful praise – and Mary’s
Magnificat will be our reading tomorrow.ReflectionPractise the joyful discipline of blessing.Prepared by Rev. Charley Jones, Charley.email@example.com