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  • Sr Siobhán

The sanctification of womanhood

Fourth Week of Advent: Wednesday

Reading: Luke 1:39-45

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’


Here we witness a wonderful celebration of womanhood. Forgetting her own need, Mary reaches out in compassion to offer woman-woman support to her cousin, Elizabeth. This elderly lady has discovered that the promise made to her husband, Zechariah has been fulfilled and she is now with child. The hill country of Judah has been safely traversed. Divinely chosen women meet and embrace. An unborn child recognises the presence of the incarnate God in their midst and leaps with joy. Overcome with gratitude, Elizabeth humbly acknowledges the greatness of God and blesses Mary’s motherhood. We can only imagine the conversations that these most contemplative women shared. The divine interventions that have led them to this moment; the hopes and fears that they have for their sons; the mysterious workings of God. No two women would ever again have conversations of this hue. We thank God that an infusion of the Holy Spirit enabled this meeting of God’s chosen ladies to take place. Their generosity and self-giving have sanctified womanhood for evermore.


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