In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
He came when I was working in the garden. It was a bright day; I squinted to see him in the brightness.
He said: When your husband Zacharias returns from his priestly duty, you will conceive and bear a son. (I dared not breathe.)
He said: You must name him John. He will be called by God to announce the coming of the Messiah. (I drew a deep breath.)
He said: Zacharias will be mute for a time, because he doubted. (I smiled at this, knowing how stubborn Zacharias can be.)
He said: The Messiah will be born of your young cousin Mary. She will come to you in the spring. She will need your advice and comfort as she deals with her unexpected pregnancy.
I said: I will welcome her with joy.
He smiled and was gone. The brightness lingered.
—Barbara Lee is a spiritual director, an Ignatian Volunteer, and the author of God Isn’t Finished With Me Yet: Discovering the Spiritual Graces of Later Life published by Loyola Press
Holy is Your Name
My soul is filled with joy
as I sing to God my savior:
you have looked upon your servant,
you have visited your people.
And holy is your name through all generations!
Everlasting is your mercy to the people you have chosen,
and holy is your name.
I am lowly as a child,
but I know from this day forward
that my name will be remembered,
for all will call me blessed.
I proclaim the pow’r of God,
you do marvels for your servants;
though you scatter the proud hearted
and destroy the might of princes.
To the hungry you give food,
send the rich away empty.
In your mercy you are mindful
of the people you have chosen.
In your love you now fulfill
what you promised to your people.
I will praise you, Lord, my savior,
everlasting is your mercy.
—Lyrics of Holy is Your Name, David Haas, © 1989 GIA Publications
Please share the Good Word with your friends!