Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Luke 1: 39-45

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greetings, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41)
Having received the divine disclosure regarding the birth of the Son of  God through her, Mary decided to visit Elizabeth. The angel of the Lord had already informed her that Elizabeth in her old age has conceived a child, even though she was considered barren. The angel explained this to her, probably as a sign of divine intervention. Thus Mary set out to a hill country in a far away town in Judah. Let us examine two aspects of this episode: the intention of Mary’s visitation and the impact of her visit.

Intention of Mary’s visit: There may be a variety of reasons for Mary’s journey to the hill country other than the psychological reason that she did not want the neighbors come to know about the pregnancy and the consequent harassment and exclusion.

·         She set out to the hill country as a response to the words of the angel of the Lord. She wishes to witness the divine sign given by God.

·         She wants to extend her greetings to the elderly woman who is also conceived now. May be she wants to share the excitement and joy of her heart to an understanding person.

·         Since Mary spends few months with Elizabeth helping her in times of her dire need and also extended fellowship and comfort to her.

·         Also, it was a time of retreat and relief to her as the presence of an elderly lady who is going through the same emotional situation for she could encourage her and extend emotional support.

The impact of Mary’s visit: Mary’s visit and her words of greetings created ripples in Elizabeth and her baby. The baby in her womb leaped with joy and Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit. Can a baby in its mother’s womb rejoices and filled with Holy Spirit?  It is in fact, a fulfillment of God’s promise to Zechariah – “before his birth, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:15).  This passage has a message for us today. The words that a child listens even from its mother’s womb will influence in molding his or her character and behavior. Modern Psychologists also endorse this view that the very atmosphere of a pregnant woman, the sounds that she listen, the activities that she is got involved, positive affirmation, words of appreciation and message of greetings, everything influence the health and personality of both mother and the child. When Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit she uses very lofty words to praise Mary. She considers the presence of Mary, the little village girl as the presence of ”the mother of my Lord”. There is no surprise, if her son later addresses Jesus, as one who is coming after me is greater than me!

Prayer: Lord, give us the grace to encourage and appreciate others. Amen.

Rev. Joseph Johnny, New York

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