3rd week of Advent, Saturday – 21st December 2019 — Gospel: Lk 1,39-45
Community models of sharing and celebration
The two story lines, annunciation to John’s father, Zechariah, followed by an annunciation to Mary, the mother of Jesus, juxtapose at the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth in the visitation. Both, Mary and Elizabeth, had a religious experience that they understood only partially. When they exchange their experience, their individual experience becomes community experience and in the process finds full meaning. Mary enters Elizabeth’s house, where for several months she shared her hospitality. Mary’s simple human greeting becomes the good news of salvation for Elizabeth and her household. Prompted by the Spirit, Elizabeth singles out Mary’s faith and her blessedness. She exclaims in wonder that she has been found worthy to give hospitality to the mother of her Lord. She is the first in a long line of characters in this Gospel who give hospitality to Jesus, who in turn was drawn into the hospitality of God. The integration of two women and their stories not only floods out in faith, but overflows in knowledge, testimony and celebration. In the meeting of these two women, in the hospitality they exchange, we see the beginnings of the community that will share and celebrate the blessings of salvation.