Year A - Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth or Elizabeth and Mary meet
May 31, 2014
Upon connecting the unliklinesses of her pregnancy with Elizabeth’s, Mary hied herself both hence and thence, thus heightening the intensity of her travel.
If we are not going to practice a magic trick of pre-conscious revelation by an unborn or a suspicious correlation instead of causation, we might wonder about a universal greeting that still carries power, “Fear not!”
Having seen Zechariah’s written report of his interaction with an angel, Elizabeth knows a code word when she hears it. Why wouldn’t Mary’s first words to Elizabeth when she unexpectedly turns up miles from home be, “Fear not!”
An appropriate response to this greeting is, “Well, this is going to end in a blessing, so why don’t I just jump there.”
[Side trail alert—intuition is the ancient presentation of a 24-hour cable/babel news cycle. Speculation is set on high, reported breathlessly and ardently. You can take it from here.]
There have been more words about Elizabeth’s words and Mary’s words than can be easily measured by a Google search. [For those who want to know, “Blessed are you among women” clocks in at 879,000 and “My soul magnifies the Lord” is more than 4 times greater, 3,580,000.] Add words your own at your own peril.
While we are dealing with Elizabeth and John, don’t forget to celebrate the Nativity of Baptizer John on June 24 (only 6 months, 191 shopping days, until Christmas) as there is an interesting connection between the birth feasts for John and Jesus. You might want to start now with a new rhythm for your church year:
— Summer Solstice - June 24 - Nativity of Fire John
— Autumnal Equinox - September 23 - Conception of Fire John
— Winter Solstice - December 25 - Nativity of Spirit Jesus
— Vernal Equinox - March 25 - Conception of Spirit Jesus
[Beside the point here unless you enjoy plays on words: If you can still get it, you may want to spend some time with Fire in the John as a humorous way to engage the Men’s Movement of yore by Bly and others. Its relevance to these women is questionable.]