In this unique reading over there is a meeting between Mary and Elizabeth – and the kids they room carrying in their wombs. Fr Adrian Graffy reflects.

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39 Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she might to a city in the hill country of Judah. 40 She got in Zechariah’s house and also greeted Elizabeth. 41 currently as shortly as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the son leapt in she womb and Elizabeth was filled through the divine Spirit. 42 She offered a according to cry and said, ‘Of all ladies you space the most blessed, and also blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 Why must I it is in honoured v a visit indigenous the mother of mine Lord? 44 because that the moment your greeting got to my ears, the son in my womb leapt for joy. 45 Yes, blessed is she who thought that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

Other readings: Micah 5:1-4 Psalm 79 Hebrews 10:5-10


On the days prior to the feast of Christmas, and on this final Sunday, the gospel check out at fixed is taken native the very first chapter the Matthew’s gospel or the an initial chapter that Luke’s. These two gospel-writers give us account of the birth of Jesus, and in Luke’s instance the bear of man the Baptist too. Luke explains Mary as the ‘kinswoman’ that Elizabeth (Luke 1:36), and stresses exactly how deeply related the mission of man the Baptist is come the mission of Christ.

Today’s gospel i is unique because it presents a meeting between the mother of the 2 men, each delivering in their wombs the youngsters soon to be born. The story, recognized as the ‘Visitation’, complies with the account that the Annunciation to mar of the coming bear of the Saviour, which ended with Mary’s ‘Yes’ come God and her words, ‘let what you have actually said be excellent to me’. (Luke 1:38)

Commentators top top this gospel story have frequently stressed the quality of mary in going to the assistance of Elizabeth in her time the need. The story also has a depth significance, because that it is the very first meeting between the Messiah and the one that will prepare the method for him. The an initial words the Elizabeth to mar are acquainted as component of the ‘Hail, Mary’: ‘Blessed arts thou among women, and also blessed is the fruit of her womb!’ Luke tells us that the kid in the womb the Elizabeth recognised the coming of the Lord, the Messiah. What John will do throughout his adult life, preparing the civilization for the resulting the Messiah, is anticipated here in the tender meeting of two pregnant mothers. As Mary welcomed the coming of the Lord right into her body, now John, together yet unborn, welcomes his arrival too.

If we proceed to check out the gospel past today’s passage we hear the indigenous of Mary’s chant of thanksgiving, the Magnificat, prayed everyday by the Church at night Prayer.

What can we learn from the behaviour and attitude the Mary and also Elizabeth?

How will the coming of Christ change me?

Pray because that all mother that they may welcome the kids of their womb.

Pray for a deep spirit of thanksgiving for God’s goodness.

Rev Dr Adrian Graffy is a member the the Vatican Commission that takes a lead in holy bible scholarship, interpretation and also promotion in the Catholic Church.

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Rev Dr Graffy claimed of his five-year meeting by Pope Francis in 2014: “It is an honour to be nominated by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. I feel humbled and an extremely much look forward to gift of company to His Holiness and the Church.”

He added: “A an excellent deal has been achieved in England and Wales in recent years by plenty of co-workers to development Biblical scholarship and also the provision of easy-to-use resources. Ns would prefer to take it this chance to thank them and the Bishops’ Conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis for their efforts to encourage understanding and love of the Bible, specifically through the publication of the teaching documents, The Gift the Scripture and the study overview to Verbum Domini, the word of the Lord.”

Rev Dr Graffy received his doctorate in sacred Scripture indigenous the Pontifical Biblical institute in Rome in 1983. He taught for over twenty years in St John’s Seminary in Wonersh, and also is Chair the the nationwide Scripture working Group, which is an instrument of the Department for Evangelisation and also Catechesis of the Bishops’ Conference that England and also Wales. Fr Graffy is a past director of Brentwood’s Commission for Evangelisation and Formation and parish monk of Christ the Eternal High monk in Gidea Park, Essex. Among his publications are the Gospel that Mark and also the Letter to the Romans (Alive Publishing).

Listen come BBC Essex interview with Fr Adrian Graffy