In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’ (Luke 1:39-45)
Here they are, both unexpectedly expecting! Naturally, they turn to each other, as women have always done, finding strength in the sisterhood. What came to me, as I read this passage, was actually Eurythmics’ hit “Sisters are doing it for themselves”! Because Mary, Jesus’ teenage mother, is no timid waif. She sets out alone to visit her relative, surely feeling only one will understand her; Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. And Elizabeth knows in the depth of her being that something wonderful is coming into the world through her young visitor and the child she is carrying. They draw strength from their shared experience, as we can, when we turn to each other in these strange and unsettling days. Now, more than ever, do we need our sisters –
and our brothers!