Patrick Perrella ’90
Notre Dame Club of Denver
Notre Dame Club of New York City

When I first heard today’s gospel reading as a child, I remember being amazed that the baby in the womb of Elizabeth was cognizant of what was going on around him. What wonder and joy! The story is so important that we count it as the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, The Visitation.

Mary hurried to Judah to see her relative Elizabeth. It was the Archangel Gabriel that informed Mary with the news that not only would she be bearing the Messiah, but also that her relative Elizabeth was with child. What wonder and joy!

Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah were indeed the recipients of God’s love. Unable to have children for decades, the couple conceived a baby at a point in their lives when it was considered impossible. What wonder and joy! Of course, we know this child became John the Baptist, who proclaimed the Good News of the coming Messiah.

When Mary arrives at the home of Elizabeth—the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaps with excitement. The baby John recognizes the presence of the Messiah. Elizabeth feels this connection as well and knows what is happening to Mary. She proclaims the words we know so well from the Hail Mary: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

What wonder and joy indeed!