Lk 1:39-45




No woman would want to be called “Maritess” these days. The name is associated with a pun on the words “Mare, ano’ng latest?,” (translation: Sis, what’s the latest gossip?) and grew from the meme of a woman who climbed a tall ladder just to catch gossip from a neighbor’s window.


Today’s Gospel features two women, the cousins Mary and Elizabeth, meeting in joy and sharing the good fortunes they received from the hand of the Lord. Mary rejoices that her elder cousin Elizabeth miraculously broke free from barrenness. Elizabeth is awe-struck at the presence of Mary who comes pregnant with the Son of God.


God prepared the advent of his Only Begotten Son, not only through a genealogy of men as seen in the gospels but also through the often ignored line of women discreetly inserted in the list of men. These women ancestors of the Lord Jesus include the prostitute Rahab, the mistress Batsheba, the foreigner Ruth, and Tamar who pretended to be a harlot to bear his father-in-law’s child. These women were not only imperfect; they also represented, not Jews, but Gentiles. Through them the ancestral line of Jesus became a genealogy of Jews and Gentiles.


Most important of all was Mary. While the genealogy spoke of every man as “the father of” so and so, Mary’s child did not have a human father. From her starts a new beginning, breaking free from the history of men. Now the history of God dwelling with humanity takes place.


It was not a man’s love affair with a woman that made possible the Incarnation of the Son of God. Rather, it was the faith of humble, young, and irrelevant country girl that captured the heart of God. Mary’s “yes” to the Father made the promises to the patriarchs and the prophets come true: God is finally here among us… among all peoples, not just the Jews but also the Gentiles.


Elizabeth joins this list of fortunate women because her son was destined to be the herald of the coming Messiah. Mary and Elizabeth show how the goodness of God works, not through the powerful, the rich, the king or the warrior, but through those who are open and willing to obey God’s will. However little or simple we are, as long as our faith is firm as that of Mary and Elizabeth, the promises of God will be fulfilled in us.


Let us pray to have the courage of Mary to say Yes to the Lord, to have the faithfulness of these women to the will of God.