Today is the feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. It is the occasion when Mary says the wonderful prayer that has come down to us as the "Magnificat."
What a wonderful tender moment in the story of Jesus this is; two women who in their own way are outcasts in their communities being honoured by God: Elizabeth because she was considered barren and Mary, who was pregnant outside of marriage.
God uses what the world considers "outsiders" to bring his message to the people of Israel. To those who knew Mary and Elizabeth they must have wondered what was happening in these families. Joseph, a good and honourable man, should, under Jewish Law, have exposed Mary as an adulteress. But this was not the truth nor was it in line with God's plan.
Looking back now with hindsight it is all so beautiful, but what about Mary and Elizabeth living through these events. What were they thinking?
We are told what Mary thought in the wonderful prayer she spoke. We learn a lot about Elizabeth's attitude from what she says; "the child within my womb leaped for joy."
Amazing things are happening and an amazing child is about to be born into the world.