In today’s gospel, Elizabeth sees and celebrates the presence of the Lord. It sounds so simple, really, but this recognition and rejoicing elude many of us. The Lord is present right here in our midst, and yet we miss him. Maybe we are focused on all that needs doing during this busy time, or perhaps we only notice what is wrong with our lives or what is wrong with others. Where have we fixed our eyes? What do we see? Chances are we are finding exactly what we have focused upon.
Although Elizabeth is a secondary character in the nativity story, she is a primary example of wise awareness. When she realized Mary was expecting, she could have questioned it. She could have envied her young kinswoman or focused on all the reasons why she herself would have been the “better choice”—she was, after all, a devoted wife and a mature woman with many years of longing for motherhood. Chosen to be John’s mother, she could have asked herself why she wasn’t chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Yet none of these thoughts enter her mind. She is so full of the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, so aware of the Lord’s presence, and so open to God’s will, that Elizabeth simply rejoices.
May we, too, live in that wise awareness, that recognition, and that rejoicing. May we see and celebrate the Lord’s real presence in our daily lives, beginning with today’s Eucharist.