Mary Brings Jesus to Elizabeth and John

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent


Luke 1:39-45


Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”


Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, increase my faith, hope, and love, so that I may live as you would have me do. I ask for the grace to open my heart and mind to your Word during this meditation.   May this time of prayer assist me to more perfectly fulfill my duties of daily life.


Encountering Christ:


  1. Mary’s Dialogue with the Unborn Jesus: An expectant mother converses with the child in her womb. “What will you look like? How will you laugh? What will your hopes and dreams be?” It is a time of tremendous love and joy, but not without some trepidation: “Will I be a good mother?” Mary, like any mother, would have had a similar dialogue with Jesus in her womb. However, she would also contemplate the mystery of her son’s divinity: “Son of the Most High… Emmanuel, God with us.” She would love and adore her son and her God in her womb. Amazingly, we are called to a similar intimacy with Christ. In the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharista, Saint John Paul II said that when Mary received Christ, body and blood, in her womb in the Incarnation, it anticipated our reception of Christ, body and blood, in the Eucharist (cf. n. 55).
  2. Christ Impels Us to Serve: Mary conceived Christ in her womb, and then made haste to help Elizabeth. When Jesus resides within a soul, he will always send him or her out. We are a missionary Church. Even the cloistered orders are missionaries at heart, which is why the Church named Saint Thérèse of Lisieux a patron of the missions. Any act of love directed towards God or neighbor strengthens our disposition to love more. Additionally, when we possess God’s sanctifying grace in our soul, God himself loves in and through us. Mary, the mother of God, revealed her missionary heart by making haste to help Elizabeth. We, too, are missionary disciples.
  3. “Blessed Is the Fruit of Your Womb”: Elizabeth and John were filled with joy in the Spirit upon hearing Mary’s greeting. However, their joy resided not so much in the fact that Mary came to help with chores; rather, it lay in their encounter with Christ. Incarnate for only a few days, already Jesus was building the Kingdom of God, with a little help from his mother. More than practical formulae, or great projects, what the Church has to offer is Christ himself. He is precisely what the world needs. Therefore, in our own apostolic endeavors, we must keep in mind the centrality of communicating Christ to souls. If our heart is full of Christ, then he will come out through all our actions. 


Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, I thank you for the gift of receiving you in the Eucharist, body, soul, and divinity. I am not worthy of such intimacy with you, but it is both your gift and invitation. Give me the grace to speak with you with increasing confidence, sharing my hopes, dreams, and fears. Allow me to hear your inspiration and respond with a generous heart. Finally, like Mary, help me to seek to serve you in my neighbor.


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will seek to share Jesus with one other person, either through word or action.


For Further Reflection: Chapter 6: “At the School of Mary, Woman of the Eucharist,” in the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, nn. 53-58,


Fr. John Bullock, LC, works with Regnum Christi in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

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