Many years ago, I was a young Jewish woman, estranged from my own mother and struggling to find my way into the Catholic Church. I was already a believer in Yeshua and the Holy Spirit was drawing me closer, but in my time of need, it was a young Jewish woman named Mary who took me by the hand, and as a good Jewish mother does, she determinedly accompanied me to her Father’s house and made the Church my home.
Today’s familiar Gospel reading is so much more than a moving historical account of two courageous women united by their yes to God’s plan. (See Luke 1:39-56.) It is intended to not only inspire admiration and devotion in us, but to teach us what it means to carry Jesus to the world.
Mary set out in haste to be with Elizabeth in her time of need. How vital it is to accompany others on their journey, faithfully walking alongside them amidst the joys, trials, and sufferings of life. Through this companionship—in family, friendship, sisterhood, and discipleship—we convey to others that Jesus is alive; He is truly God with us.
Like Mary, we who bear Jesus in our lives are called to magnify Him, to proclaim to all we meet that we have a great and merciful God Who keeps His promises, always provides, and is altogether trustworthy. And like Elizabeth, with gratitude and humility we can rejoice and champion the work of God in and through others.
Mother Mary, come be with each of us in our time of need. Teach us how to welcome your Son’s presence in our lives, and imitate your courageous obedience and sacrificial love. Through your example and intercession, help us to joyfully accompany others and be with them in their time of need.We who bear Jesus in our lives are called to magnify Him. Click To Tweet
Scroll down to the later verses of Luke 1 and read the commentary by the Church Fathers compiled by Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Catena Aurea.
Debra Herbeck, a Jewish convert to the Church, has worked extensively in youth and women’s ministry. She has directed Pine Hills Girls Camp for the past 32 years, is the founder and Director of the Be Love Revolution, and also helps lead a ministry called i.d.916. She has written a number of books that can be found here. Debra and her husband Peter live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and are the parents of four children and six adorable grandchildren.