December 23, 2018: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Reading: Luke 1:39-45
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
I used to conjure up all kinds of “holy” motives for Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. She had great kindness. She wanted to help her cousin with the household chores. She wanted to share Elizabeth’s burden in any way she could. No doubt, some of those conjectures were true. However, I am more inclined to believe now that Mary was seeking the sign that Gabriel shared with her – that Elizabeth, too, was pregnant. Such a sign would confirm her own pregnancy and strengthen her faith for the days ahead. Sometimes our faith needs strengthening.
It is not unusual to wonder about some of the things we hear or some of the things we read or even some of the things we believe. Rather than stay in the “wondering” mode, a practice this week might be to seek out the truth as best we can by consulting others, reading another viewpoint or engaging others in a discussion.