Mary Meets Elizabeth

Fourth Sunday of Advent | December 23, 2018

Micah 5:2-5a  •  Luke 1:46b-55  •  Hebrews 10:5-10  •  Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.  You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

46 Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47     How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
    and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
    and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
    to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
    He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
    and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
    and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and his children forever.”


Today we look at the meeting of Elizabeth and Mary. I was thinking about the various visits of the angel before and after Jesus was born. The shepherds were visited by an angel in the fields right after Jesus was born. An angel warned the Wise Men to return by a different route. Zechariah and Joseph were visited by an angel as was Mary. Elizabeth is the only one who was not visited by an angel.

But she knew as we find out in this narrative today. When Mary came to visit Elizabeth, the baby she was carrying leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. All of this leads to Elizabeth declaring good news about the baby that Mary is about to have. Elizabeth knows that Mary is pregnant with the Son of God. Can you imagine the feeling. I’m pretty sure that Mary was overwhelmed by it all. But because of the greeting by Elizabeth, Mary sings out a song. We know it as the Magnificat. Meaning my soul magnifies the Lord.

Below is the song that Mary sang:

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