In a recent Helpers Facebook post we commented on our call to recognize neighbor when we said, “We are called to look for Christ in our neighbor. Does that include the unborn neighbor? The unborn St. John the Baptist thought so and leaped for joy in his mother’s womb.” This reflection was based on a snippet from Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth. Let us look further at this 2nd Joyful Mystery and ponder its’ recognition of the unborn child as a separate individual.
Upon hearing Mary’s voice, the in-womb infant John leaps and Elizabeth not only feels the movement of her unborn child, but by acknowledging John’s individuality in that split second, she is able to perceive the reason for his joy. And thereby like John, she too is graced and filled with the Holy Spirit.
The modern world wants us to believe its misconception (pun intended) that the child in the womb is nothing more than a clump of cells. A world view that wants to focus solely on the woman, as if this was the ONLY individual involved.
But we can see in this Visitation, Elizabeth reaffirming Mary’s faith in the Father’s word, and recognizing Mary, not merely as a woman, but bestowing upon Mary a higher title, that of Mother. However, Elizabeth does not stop there. She goes even further and acknowledges the unborn child in Mary’s womb as her Lord. A completely separate individual from the Mother. An individual not only belonging to the Mother, but a Savior, both God and man, belonging to Elizabeth as well.