Blessed Are You Who Believed

Today’s Gospel is the beautiful encounter between Mary and Elizabeth recorded in Luke’s Gospel. It is a passage I love and have written about before. (See. e.g., here and here.)

Having been told by the Angel that Elizabeth is with child, Mary travels “in haste” to the home of Zechariah and her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth says several things when she greets the younger women. The one that struck me this time was the last thing Elizabeth says: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Mary believed what God promised. We see that belief reflected in the canticle that follows Elizabeth’s line (although it is not part of today’s Gospel), in which Mary “proclaims the greatness of the Lord” and speaks about God’s fulfillment of “his promise to our father, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

The question for us is: do we believe in what was spoken to us by the Lord? Do we believe it when God says:

I have called you by name and you are mine. (Isaiah)

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. (Jeremiah)

I have branded you on the palms of my hand. (Isaiah)

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you. (Isaiah)

And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. (Matthew)

I will come back again an take you to myself, os that where I am you also may be. (John)

As we come to the end of this Advent period, we might reflect on God’s words to us. Words Mary believed. Words we can believe.

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

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