39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[a] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.
Our Advent stories are filled with remarkable things: angels, and dreams, and kings, and miracles. It's easy to overlook some of the more ordinary yet equally powerful moments, like friendship for example. Mary wasn't alone in her journey. She had Elizabeth, who had also experienced God's miraculous work. Just as Jesus had John the Baptist preparing the way for him, Mary had Elizabeth. Jesus, who came to teach a new message of love for the world had friends, and was born to a family that knew deep friendship.
And so Advent is a season to remind ourselves of the importance of friends. Hope and Peace and Joy and Love are meant to be shared. The painting above is another famous one. Elizabeth (on the right) reaches out to Mary, and their embraces balances and supports one another. May God grant us each the will and the opportunity to reach out to friends this week.