sexta-feira, 9 de junho de 2017


When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the baby leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
In a loud voice she exclaimed:
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the child you will bear!
Luke 1:41-42 (read 1:39-45) - NIV

Pregnancy is not always a reason for joy. It may be annoying, frightening or undesired. Isabel who was married and already well past the child baring age always wanted to get pregnant, but without success. Finally, after many years of frustration, it happened. In contrast, Maria was frightened by the prospect of being an unwed mother. But Joseph, her betrothed, in spite of not being the father of the child, opted to marry her (He could have had her stoned according to Jewish law).

Those who find sex to be sinful interpret that the marriage was only a facade and that the couple was never intimate. This is the basis of the dogma of perpetual virginity.

But the important point of the meeting of two future mothers was the joy of hope. Their children (males, of course) were not yet born and represented the hope of a better and a happier world. They would be blessed through their yet unborn sons. Hope prevented Elizabeth and Mary from being marked by the circumstances of poverty with a life of struggle for daily bread and for water brought from great distances. They faced life with optimism.

The Bible makes much use of the figure “birth”. Birth comes from within the body of the mother. It is the mother who produces babies. Hope is like the birth of a child - it comes from our spiritual womb. The figures of birth and womb can also portray many aspects of our life. We encounter many obstacles and are faced with many difficulties and uncertainties. We cannot expect that the solutions will miraculously come from the outside. The cure of what ails us comes from within us. We must “birth” them. Jesus said to some of the people he healed, "Your faith has made you whole". The miracle of Jesus was to awaken the faith that each person already had and to help them give birth to the solution.

The faith and the hope of the two women were placed in what was still inside them - it had not yet been born. They were pregnant of faith and hope. Hope and faith are twins. Without faith there is no hope. They go together, hand-in-hand.

Another important point is from whom comes the hope of salvation; – it comes from common people, not those in the mansions of the elite or on the thrones of power. The great holders of power and wealth do not feel the need for liberation. They do not want change. They want everything to remain the same. They want to protect what they already have and add even more. The changes that bring liberation never come from the privileged. “Trickle down” benefits are an illusion.

The great mass of humanity is similar to the soil. From it springs the renewal of life. Redemption springs from the earth, just like the plants. The sky serves to provide energy. John the Baptist and Jesus did not parachute down from heaven, already made and with power to destroy the enemies of humanity. They came from the maternal womb as totally dependent and vulnerable infants. The hope of the world is not in great things that are seen by all, but in small things that are unnoticed by most.

Being that salvation springs from the earth, it should be well cared for and respected. Our civilization despises the earth and the poor who are precisely the sources of hope. God can fertilize our spiritual womb in any circumstance. We, too, can become pregnant of hope and faith in this world full of violence and oppression.


At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

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