Your presence is more important than your presents – Tuesday, 4th Week in Advent – Luke 1:39-45

On the face of things this seems like a meeting of two women, yet there were four persons that day in that little town of Ein Karim, high up in the mountains. The forerunner, John the Baptist and the Messiah are physically present, each in the womb of his mother. Here, a young Galilean carries within her womb the one ‘who is and who was and who is to come’. At this remarkable point in time and space the new covenant of God with his people is beginning.  

The journey from Nazareth to Ein Karim was long and uncomfortable. Mary, carries the secret; she is the womb of God but that secret is let out of the bag or should I say out of the womb when John the Baptist  leapt on hearing the voice of the Mary. This isn’t just a cute “I felt the baby kick” moment. It’s God’s Spirit at work. Zechariah had been told something about her child, “ he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.” – Luke 1:15. This visitation could best be described as a Eucharistic moment. The light of Christ comes to Elizabeth through Mary.

But this text rightly focuses on Elizabeth too. The scriptures record very little about Elizabeth, but she was a remarkable woman. She believed Gabriel when her husband did not. Mary was a young woman and she was an old woman, but Mary needed the encouragement that Elizabeth gave her. She assured her that all those things that had been told to her, by the angel, would happen.

What a wonderful encounter: two women, bound by kinship, both bearing sons, both blest by the Lord. How affirming to Mary that the revelation made to her, is understood by her kinswoman. Like Mary, when we share our faith story with someone we proclaim the greatness of God in our life. Think how blest we are each time we have the opportunity to ‘magnify the Lord’ through our faith narrative. We all  have someone with whom we can share what God is doing in my life.  

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