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Family visit

Family visit

Thomas M. Columbus December 08, 2020
Mary and Elizabeth, doing the impossible.

“I’m having a baby, too.”

Those words do not appear in the canonical texts of the Bible, but Crystal Sullivan, executive director of Campus Ministry, can imagine Mary perhaps saying them to her relative Elizabeth. Scripture tells us that Elizabeth was old and barren and that Mary was a virgin. For them to have babies was, of course, impossible.

Stained glass of the Visitation in the Chapel of the Immaculate ConceptionBut when Gabriel announced to Mary that she and Elizabeth were both pregnant, that messenger angel simply explained, “With God, nothing will be impossible.”

Mary, visiting Elizabeth, elaborated on that theme in the words known widely as the Magnificat. “Mary is elated,” Sullivan said. “She affirms the greatness of God.”

Mary marvels: He has done great things for me — and for the world. He has brought down the mighty, raised up the humble. He has fed the hungry and sent the rich away empty-handed. God is working through us and with us to bring justice and salvation to the world.

What seems impossible becomes, with God, possible.

Mary’s prayer, Sullivan said, tells us that God will give us what we need to do what needs to be done. With God, we can do it.

At the beginning of each academic year, the University holds a Blessed Beginnings service — in the past as a community gathered together physically in the chapel, this year, virtually. Each year, trusting in a mighty God, we pray, together.

When we, like Mary, walk humbly with our God, we are not alone.

The Magnificat

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.

—Luke 1:47-55, Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition

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