Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’
My mother and I stayed with cousin Elizabeth, Zechariah and unborn John for three months. Our parents spent this time in fellowship, prayer and reflection.
The tone established for this ninety‑day visit might simply be stated as joy. Joy in the fulfillment of God’s promises! Messianic Joy!
The focus of the ninety‑day visit was preparation. God had called all of these individuals to serve Him in a most extraordinary manner, and before proceeding further God prepared them for the months and years ahead. Elizabeth and Zechariah were well disposed, after six quiet months spent in large measure listening, praying and reflecting. Mary was young and eager to continue as the Lord willed. But all three needed this special time with the Word Incarnate. And paradoxically, unborn John would now be prepared by the unborn Lord to years later return the favor and “prepare the way of the Lord” (Is 40:3).
We can not say definitively what Unborn Jesus did while still in the womb of His mother. But we can ponder these events with faith and love. What was this Divine Presence like within Mary’s womb, nestled under the beacon of her heart? “The flame of fire in the burning bush was a figure of Jesus in Mary’s sacred womb…. So He still speaks as if concealed in Mary’s womb…”*
… Perhaps another analogy might help us to further appreciate the power of this Unborn presence. Consider how the fire in a fireplace within a small cabin draws all who enter towards its glowing warmth. In a similar spiritual sense, the Unborn Son of God would have attracted His hosts ‑ Elizabeth and Zechariah ‑ to Himself. For their part, remaining humble and receptive, they would sense the tranquility of His Being and their open hearts would be enflamed by His nearness. Similarly, recall how the woman who touched the hem of His garment, while a crowd bustled about Him, was instantly healed by the Power in Him. Crowds were attracted to Him. For those of good will, His presence was attractiveness itself, and no doubt His physical presence would have become the new focal point of this small home. Excerpt from Unborn Jesus Our Hope, George Peate.
*This quote taken from Richard F. Clarke, S.J., “The Coming Of Christ”, pamphlet D446 (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1964), 38
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