Assumption of Mary, Mother of God

“During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste (σπουδῆς [spoudes]) to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-40).”
     An 82 or so mile trip from Nazareth to the hill country of Ain Karem would have been a challenge under any circumstance (Even today, many people are out of breath when the trek up ‘the hill’ that brings them to the house of Elizabeth and Zechariah.). Add young, poor and pregnant to the mix and one might reconsider the trip not to mention that Mary goes in haste (σπουδῆς [spoudes])!
     Similar to so many events in Mary’s life, the Mother of the Savior also acts as the preeminent teacher providing lesson after lesson about how we can be a disciple of her Son. Mary’s travel “in haste” speaks not only about speed and an anti-procrastinating mindset, the Greek verb σπουδάζω (spoudazo) conveys an “attitude of zeal” and “concern for the importance of the moment.”
     Mary’s mode of travel gives the contemporary believer much to ponder. Zealous attentiveness to the sacrament of the present moment is the place and time of the Lord’s visitation. No matter the motivation or reason for waiting to get one's act together apart from the Gift of Grace or simply wait for no reason whatsoever, the Mother of God beckons us ‘to see’ now as the moment of the Lord’s visit Who will fill all with the same joy that caused John to leap in his mother’s womb.

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