I was once a hospital chaplain in a hospital with new born babies and their mothers. There is nothing more delightful and peaceful than seeing a newborn child being held lovingly in its mother’s arms. A tiny bundle of red, wrinkled new life puts a smile of awe and wonder on the face of everyone on this planet. Every parent thinks: “What will this child grow up to be? Will he/she bring me joy or cause me pain?” It doesn’t matter to them, because pure love and affection is being poured out on the newborn child, the beginning of an endless supply of committed love.
Today we hear about two pregnant women, who probably asked those very same questions. Mary and Elizabeth did not know the answers, but they did know, without any doubt, that the very conception of their babies was the result of an intervention on the part of God. Elizabeth’s son became a desert evangelist, preaching repentance and judgment as well as the coming of the Messiah. He would eventually be killed by those who did not want to be confronted by their sins. If Elizabeth had known in advance, what could she have done?
Mary’s son started out in the carpenter’s trade, but as we all know he had a unique identity and a unique destiny. At the appropriate time he began his public ministry of bringing to all humanity the truth of his divine Father’s unconditional love. Jesus died on our behalf to bring us that revelation, to teach us how to love, and to redeem us from our sins. If Mary had known, in advance, about his coming agony and death, what do you think she would have done?
Mary and Elizabeth could not protect their boys from life’s dangers. But they could and did do everything in their power to teach the boys to be faithful to the will of God, which ultimately is the only thing that matters. So we too are encouraged to ask yourself about your preparation of your own children. Are you teaching them the divine principles of living life according to God’s will? If you die today, will your children go to heaven?
The Holy Spirit prompted Elizabeth to welcome Mary as the “mother of my Lord." What character traits do you see in Elizabeth that suggests, and merits, calling her a role model for Christians?