December 24, 2000

Luke 1:39-45

Mary didn't waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah's house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sag out exuberantly.

"You're so blessed among women,
     and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
     the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
     greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
     skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
     believed every word would come true!"

<The Message>


1. When the "angel" announcing conception explained things to Mary she agreed and soon was off to compare notes with another miraculous conception, that of Elizabeth. We are reminded of each child is the holder of great expectations. Whether easily conceived or not (out of an aged womb or a not yet socially acceptable womb) a usual part of conception is the rising of hopes. This new one will be a key to a better future.

2. Blessing upon blessing. Blessings circle outward and inward at the same time. Consider how you are blessed by John's and Jesus' conceptions. Consider how they are blessed by your conception. Consider how we are all interconnected. Consider the power of belief and its connection with blessing. Simply, consider.

3. From the Spiritual Formation Bible comes this suggestion. "What happiness, what security, what joy to have someone to whom you dare to speak on terms of equality as to another self," wrote the twelfth-century monk Aelred of Rievaulx in Spiritual Friendship . What an apt description of Mary and Elizabeth's spiritual kinship as both women face unusual, yet joyous, circumstances! recall some of the special friendships you've experienced during your lifetime. Call a friend or share a meal together, and reminisce about your friendship. Tell your friend some of the ways in which you consider him or her a blessing.

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