Today, in Catholic Churches all over the world, the Gospel reading in the Ordinary Form is Luke’s description of the Visitation–the Blessed Virgin Mary’s journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth–as soon as she learned that Elizabeth, too, was pregnant!
“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.'”
How incredibly beautiful–and female! When Mary learned her elderly cousin was pregnant, she must go at once “in haste” to share mutual joy, mutual wonder, and mutual gratitude!
May the mutual joy and hope of Mary and Elizabeth be a beacon always to all expectant mothers–and to ALL of us!