In the Gospel of this fourth Sunday of Advent the story moves to a double level. In the foreground the meeting between the two future mothers. Elizabeth recognizes that Mary carries “the Lord” in her womb and congratulates her because her faith will make it possible for God’s plans to be fulfilled. Both women anticipate the mission of their respective children and the relationship they will maintain during their public lives. Mary, as bearer of the good news of salvation; Elizabeth, proclaiming the joy of the arrival of the Messiah and recognizing herself unworthy that “the mother of her Lord” comes to visit her.
Elizabeth alludes to what she feels inside herself, it is about the joy of the child, the future John the Baptist. Joy is the first response to the coming of the Messiah. To experience joy because we know we are loved by God is to prepare ourselves for Christmas. Elizabeth then pronounces a double blessing. Mary is declared “Blessed among women” (v. 42) and “Blessed is the fruit of your womb” (v. 42). This fruit is Jesus, but the text underlines the fact that for now he is in a woman’s body, in her womb, woven from her tissue. Thus, Mary’s body becomes the holy arc where the Spirit dwells and manifests the greatness of her feminine condition.
The prayer of blessing is, above all, praise of thanksgiving. The saints are blessed and especially “blessed” is Mary, the mother of Jesus. Blessed, happy or blissful are those who believe in God, those who practice the Word, those who bear fruit, the poor with whom Jesus identifies. Mary believed. This was her greatness and the foundation of her happiness: her faith. Mary’s whole life is based on her faith, on the adhesion she has given from the first moment to the revelation that came to her.