“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariahʼs home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Maryʼs greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Lk 1:39-42, 44-45
I’m a trumpet player and a band director. I remember the fall that I was carrying our 1st son, school started and I played my horn for the first time in a while. The moment I sounded a note, my baby jumped and kicked. I guess the sudden noise startled him-my trumpet playing can be pretty frightening!
Right after her visit from the angel Gabriel, Mary, now pregnant with Jesus, went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, Zachariah’s wife, who was also pregnant with John (the Baptist). The moment she greeted Elizebath, Elizabeth’s baby jumped for joy in her womb!
Elizabeth articulated what Gabrial had already told Mary-she was blessed and highly favored from among all women because she carried Jesus!
Now lets think about this from Mary’s perspective-she’s a fourteen or fifteen year old virgin who’s engaged to Joseph the carpenter’ and their arrangement was so binding that it could only be annulled by a formal divorice. Sue’s just accepted one of the most difficult-bitter/sweet assingments from God in history-she’ll carry the Son of God to term, deliver Him into the world and raise Him, teaching Him Who He is and what He will do! WOW! She’s also had to explain her situation to her fiance and parents, who probably wondered about the authenticity of her story.
As her condition begins to “show”, she’ll undoubtedly be the subject of passing whisperers, gossip sessions and even jokes! Mary very well may have chosen to visit cousin Elizabeth, seeking asylum during her pregnancy. She may have been sent away so as to not shame her family. We don’t know why she went to Elizebeth, but we do know the outcome! Elizebeth affirmed her in a way not even an understand fiancé or loving parents could have. Elizabeth BLESSED her and in so doing, blessed the baby she carried!
It doesn’t take a lot to bless someone as opposed to shaming them or stating the obvious! We just have to choose to have an attitude that blesses instead of one that assumes, judges or condemns. People’s situations are usually far more complex that what meets the eye! Imagine how different Mary’s story might have been without Joseph’s support and Elizabeth’s blessing!
We, as God’s Church should always choose to bless and be kind because, ” its God’s kindness (that)is intended to lead you to repentance”. Think about it!