Luke 1:39-47 NRSVue

39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

46And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Some thoughts on this scripture

It is difficult to imagine Mary in heaven -- after all she lived her life keeping house. Here is an image from a Czech poet, Vladimir Holan:

Forgive me, God, but I console myself that the beginning and resurrection of all us dead will simply be announced by the crowing of the cock. After that we'll remain lying down a while... The first to get up will be Mother... We'll hear her quietly laying the fire, quietly putting the kettle on the stove and cosily taking the teapot out of the cupboard. We'll be home once more.

Let me stay with this joyful scene. Both of these pregnant women are aware that something awesome is at work in them. In their meeting there is the ordinariness of friends meeting, the love of affectionate cousins, and also a profound sense of destiny. In her later years Mary would have looked back on this joyful mystery as a time when the world was young and full of promise. Let me savour the memory with her.

Few Gospel encounters are as full of joy and promise as this one. Let me savour it as I see the scene: young Mary arriving to help her older cousin through pregnancy; and Elizabeth saluting her with unexpected insight, as in the Irish greeting of a pregnant woman: /God bless both of you;/ and with a happiness so total that she feels the child in her womb dancing with her.