At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
Commentary: The meeting of these kinfolk is a story that resonates with many women. We never hear anything about Mary’s relationship with her mother, and so it is reasonable to assume that Elizabeth was in the role of friend and mother-figure. The only other time that the verb “leaped” is used in Luke is sardonically by Jesus, when in the sermon on the Plain, he tells people that they are blessed when they are hated and reviled for the sake of the Son of Man (Luke 6:22-23). In the absence of reliable prenancy tests, the movement of a baby was the first proof of its coming. There are echoes here of the Old Testament stories of women who were mothers late in life; Sarah (Genesis 21:2) and Hannah (1Samuel 1:19)
To Ponder: Who do you call first with good news or bad? Why do you suppose that Mary was not living with her family when she got this momentous news? Are there promises from God that you have a hard time believing?