What if we really believed God is uniquely present and active in the circumstances of each of our lives? What if instead of allowing our circumstances to determine what we believe, we allowed our believing to reinterpret the circumstances? That would be blessed believing, Elizabeth and Mary type of believing, the kind of believing that gives birth to new life. That believing is at the heart of today’s gospel reading. Two pregnant women, neither of whom, according to their circumstances, should be or could be pregnant. One is too old. One is too young. One is barren. One is a virgin. Yet, both are pregnant.
Neither Elizabeth nor Mary allowed the circumstances of their lives to define who they were or limit who they might become. Believing for them was not so much about what they see but how they see. Each one believed she was more than the circumstances of her life. Both women saw, hidden within their particular situation, a deeper meaning and a new life. Each one trusted that the God of the impossible was somehow in the circumstances reshaping, transforming, and fulfilling her very existence. God was at work within these two women changing them, not their circumstances. So it is for each one of us.
The story of the visitation is not only about pregnancy and physical birth. For Mary and Elizabeth the massive change within them is linked to a radical transformation beyond them. There is a harmony between what God has stirred within them and what God is stirring in the world. Regardless of whether we’re called to give birth to physical children, God challenges us to cultivate an interior spirit that is intimately linked with the world beyond us. In this Advent season, what’s stirring inside me that connects me with the world around me? What is God seeking to bring forth in my life that enables me to participate in the transformation that God is working in all creation?
Gospel: Luke 1:39-44
Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, She gave a loud cry and said, “Of all women you the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why I should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”