One of the more intriguing depictions of today’s feast is here by the American-born artist Brigid Marlin.
Most parishes will probably stop at the first reading from Zechariah and not consider the option from Saint Paul, which reads in part:
Brothers and sisters:
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:9-10)
It’s a curious thing that part of this reading is also an option for the Wedding Lectionary. What are the commonalities in the relationship between Elizabeth and Mary and married spouses?
Some spouses I know are competitive. Limited to the realm of fun and games, perhaps this is a good thing. But there may be a better way, outside of sporting considerations.
Mary, thought to be an adolescent in Luke 1, goes out of her way to visit her older cousin and offer service to her. Mary anticipates, and the question for husbands and wives with respect to the other, do we anticipate needs, see them ahead of time? The hill country of Judea (Cf. Luke 1:39), imaged above, does not always allow one to see what is ahead. Unlike the open ocean or the wide stretches of farms on plains. Caring for the beloved, do we think to look ahead, to scout beyond the next hill or peek into some hidden valley? Are we seeking potential opportunities? Avoiding dangers before they surface?