It was remarkable that God chose to bring about His work of redemption through two human babies and their mothers. Jesus was still in Mary’s womb, yet in His presence Elizabeth and her own unborn son, John, were filled with the Holy Spirit. This short but powerful scene gives us a glimpse of the forceful love of God, who simply cannot wait to pour out His life. What a foreshadowing this is of the glory of the risen Christ, who wants to pour out His Spirit on all people!
Elizabeth’s pure and humble response to the work of God in their lives must have brought great comfort to Mary. In Elizabeth she finally found someone with whom she could share her joy and awe at what was happening in her. Who else at this time could understand the song welling up within Mary’s heart (Luke 1:46-56)? Rather than being jealous of her younger relative’s exalted position, Elizabeth rejoiced with Mary and embraced her own supportive role. For her part, Mary did not wait for Elizabeth to come to her, but hastened to her side.
While this meeting between Mary and Elizabeth is unique, there is something here that we can all experience. As baptized believers, each of us is capable of bearing Christ to others. If our eyes were opened to the glory of this truth, we too would rejoice and be humbled in the presence of so holy a vessel as a sister or brother in Christ. Even non-believers would move us to great reverence because they too are created in God’s image and have just as much potential of being filled with the Holy Spirit. If God has so highly honored human beings this way, how could we fail to show them equal honor?
God used His Son, Jesus, even when He was just a fetus in the womb of Mary, to pour out divine life. Everyone, no matter how strong or weak, has been created as a dwelling place for God. So how can we long for God’s presence and yet disregard Him in the people all around us?
Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, as You opened Elizabeth’s eyes in the presence of Mary, so open our eyes to those who also bear Christ. Help us to honor the potential of each person to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Jakarta, 31 May, 2016 [The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary]
A Christian Pilgrim