Dear Friends in Christ,
‘O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge, the One whom the people await and their Saviour. O come and save us, Lord our God!’ St. Luke narrates his Gospel with beauty and charm, jamming his masterpiece full of rich fare for us to feed upon. Today we celebrate the feminine genius of Mary and Elizabeth. These two giants of faith reveal in their encounter with the Holy Spirit so much of what it means to live a life of faith. These two women were joined in a sisterhood of faith; they were both on an adventure on which they were overshadowed and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
What is the feminine genius so clearly on display to us in today’s readings? Perhaps it is best captured by the way in which both women were blessed by God because of the simplicity and straightforwardness of their faith. We could say that faith came naturally to them. They were ready to embrace all that God was doing in their lives. They were both midwives to God’s extraordinary grace being poured out at this very special moment in history. The motif of their faith is joy. So infectious was their joy that even the bay in Elizabeth’s womb (John the Baptist) leapt with this same joy, the joy of the Holy Spirit
Also striking is the two women’s kindness and generosity towards each other – they delighted in God’s work in each other’s life. Mary rushed to Elizabeth’s home, eager to share her good news, Elizabeth, for her part, was full of praise and thanksgiving for Mary, and imparted two blessings: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed the child you will bear!’ and ‘Bless is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her!’
These two holy women point us to trust and really on the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life. Through their witness they reveal that the Christian life is an adventure in the Spirit. They show us that as we receive blessings from God, we in turn bless others with the same grace. Elizabeth and Mary are models of discipleship, and we thank God for their stunning witness of the joy and happiness that is our birth right as men and women born of the Spirit.