One of the great mysteries of life is birth, conception, pregnancy, nine months of waiting, then the delivery of a new baby. Every family has a story about a mother being rushed to hospital and a father fainting at the birth.

Today we hear the story of the meeting of Mary with Elizabeth. It is a story full of joy. Elizabeth praises Mary and recognised the fruit of Mary’s womb as the promised Messiah, the Son of God. Elizabeth declares Mary ‘Blessed among women’. We repeat this every time we pray the Hail Mary. This is the most Marian Sunday of the year.

The Mothers-to-be are the centre of our Gospel story. It is a lovely scene, two pregnant women, God having intervened in both of their lives, meeting up. One older and wiser the other a younger woman. For both this was their first child. This touching story gives us Mary’s song, “The beautiful Magnificat”.