Speak Lord: The Visitation

VisitationaOn the 4th Sunday of Advent we hear a section of Luke’s narrative of the visit of Mary, mother of Jesus, to Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist.

The mothers greet one another, and in Elizabeth’s womb, the as yet unborn John greets and honours the recently conceived Jesus.

Elizabeth is graced by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and herself ‘knows’ the wondrous fruit of Mary’s womb.

Mary set out 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 are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why 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.’

Luke 1:39-44

The Lukan tradition of John the Baptist kicking in his mother’s womb to welcome the newly conceived Christ in the womb of Mary is something precious…  In a world that places such low estimate on foetal life there is something to ponder there.

  • Pray for all mothers.
  • Pray for children – born and unborn.
  • Pray for a deeper respect for all human beings, at all stages of their lives.

Image of the Visitation: detail of Rosary Triptych by Arthur Fleischmann. (c) 2011, Allen Morris.