In yesterday’s Gospel, we heard about pregnant Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant. We listened to the greeting that Elizabeth exclaimed. Today, we hear Mary’s response.
Imagine the conversations these blessed women might have had during the three months Mary stayed at the house of Elizabeth and Zechariah, especially “unpacking” the words of these two proclamations Luke shares with us. So many things we might pray or contemplate today at Mass and or in our prayer time: this canticle (prayed at Evening Prayer for the Liturgy of the Hours), this encounter between these two holy women, the meaning of the nine-month pregnancy of Mary.
In three days, we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus. Over the course of the (four) Christmas day readings, we will hear a variety of phrases and images that refer to this baby Jesus: Emmanuel, Word became flesh, Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace, Son of David, Son of Abraham, Son of God, Savior, King, Christ the Lord.
What image or expression most resonates with you today? Now remember that the Blessed Virgin Mary became the dwelling place for Jesus in her womb, who will become for all his disciples – you and me – (fill in the blank).
Then remember that Mary is the model for each of us who welcomes Jesus into our hearts and is invited to be a dwelling place for Jesus in our world. How will that look for you today? Jesus in the flesh? A helpful counselor? A hero to someone? A good parent? A peace-maker? A loving son or daughter? Someone’s savior? God’s presence?
So much to ponder! Pick one during what is probably a very busy day.
Let Us Pray:
Lord our God, you have made the Virgin Mary the model for all who welcome your word and put it into practice. Open our hearts to receive it with joy, and by the power of your Spirit, grant that we also may become a dwelling place in which the Word of salvation is fulfilled. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (From the Office of Readings in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary)