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What Mary learned when she visited Elizabeth

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Chiesa Nuova | Wikipedia

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 12/22/22

Every mission bears fruit not only in others but also in those who become instruments of mission.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

The second fruit of Mary’s missionary journey to her cousin Elizabeth’s house is the canticle of the Magnificat that we read in today’s Gospel passage. 

Every mission bears fruit not only in others but also in those who become instruments of mission. Bringing Jesus to others always has a spillover as well in those who proclaim him. It’s an experience that I’ve heard about directly from many people who for one reason or another decided to put themselves at the service of others. When they’ve had that experience, they’ve exclaimed, “I received more than these people I came to help!” 

Mary also experiences this gift, and the Magnificat bears witness to it. She too will be able to say that her journey to Elizabeth’s house gave her the gift of understanding many things about her own life, the life of her people, and even God’s plans.

Indeed, in today’s Gospel reading we find a sapiential reinterpretation of Mary’s personal history, the history of Israel, and the newness that God was initiating with the coming of His Son Jesus.

God looks at the humility of His servant, that is, the way she places her fragility totally in His hands. God listens to Israel’s suffering and sends it an unexpected messiah: a liberator without weapons and without an army who, however, will have the ability to remove from men and women their heart of stone and give them back a heart of flesh. God enters history and turns it upside down, so the proud are confounded, the rich leave empty-handed, the humble are exalted, and the discarded become the cornerstone. 

This is the newness of the Gospel, and Mary sings it for herself and for each of us.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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