First Reading: Song of Songs 2:8-14
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-45
In the readings today, we have two lovely expressions of joy in the form of ‘leaping.’ The first reading is from the beautiful love poem, Song of Songs, and opens with these words: “I hear my Beloved. See how he comes, leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills.”
What a lovely reminder of the first date with a boy or girl whom you really like! Even now when we would expect a text from someone we were going to meet, these words have real meaning and resonance. They lift the heart of any person who has ever been in love.
The gospel story is slightly different. Here Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, whom she has been told is pregnant. When these two women meet, the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy. I have often heard, though I am no Greek scholar, that the word used for the leap of John in the womb could actually be translated as ‘dance’ without any loss of meaning.
The idea of the baby in Elizabeth’s womb dancing for joy at the nearness of the Lord speaks volumes at this time of year. We are coming close to Christmas; joy is in the air. Most of us have stopped work for the holidays and are waiting for something to happen.
What are we waiting for? A big dinner, a few presents, or the coming of the Lord. Hmnn, the world waits on us spending money, while we wait on the birth of a baby.