Year B - Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth or Elizabeth and Mary Meet
May 31, 2015
At the beginning of her pregnancy Mary is said to have traveled from Nazareth to Judea to see Elizabeth. This is roughly the same distance she will travel to Bethlehem at the end of her pregnancy. A young woman journeying alone in that culture seems very strange. Might Joseph have gone along to gather wisdom from Elizabeth that would show up in his dreams?
We are talking 3 days to week to make this trek of ±70 miles. A number of factors, including rain turning travel to mud, make this an indeterminate journey. Regardless of the travel time is the vision it took to even start on such a walk. Word may have just arrived regarding Elizabeth’s remarkable pregnancy. Something in that probably caught Mary’s ear. Turn your speculator on to imagine the possibilities.
Having made the trip and stayed for a considerable length of time, Mary would be returning home between her first and second trimesters. WebMD talks about the ending of morning sickness and fatigue but picking up backache, bleeding gums, breast enlargement, congestion and nosebleeds, frequent urination, headache, heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and weight gain. Neither going nor returning seems all that pleasant (and we haven’t even gotten to going such a distance close to term).
Such a journey could bring connections to mind in addition to Mary’s expectation about a meeting with Elizabeth. Perhaps Mary’s namesake Miriam or a generic alter-ego like Hannah would find themselves entering her thoughts and beginning to shape later phrases.
At any rate, Mary traveled—even as far as Egypt. Every journey brings its perspective that reorients our engagement with life. Is it time for you to take a journey to sort out what is going on with you and how you will more deeply engage the reality of your situation? Aloha. Bon voyage. Nesi'a tova. Traveling mercies.