“For nothing is impossible to God” and “Blessed is she who believed that the promises made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Luke 1:37,45

Friday, 20 August 2021

Luke 1:39-56

As we consider the story of the visitation during this women’s month, it may be helpful to notice some things. Mary and Elizabeth were marginalised for different reasons. Elizabeth was a woman past child-bearing age and considered barren. Mary was a young girl pregnant outside of marriage. Neither of them had any status in the community. They were vulnerable. But God chooses them.

Women in our society are among the most vulnerable – women in abusive relationships, victims of gender-based violence or gender trafficking. God chooses them. And we are called to choose them too, to ally ourselves with them.

Mary’s words of the Magnificat outline a kind of manifesto of God’s reign. They are echoed in the words of the sermon of the mount. They are a proclamation of a different reality. One in which those who are silenced are given a voice. In which those who are oppressed are liberated. It is a vision of tremendous hope. Those words echo into our own time for us too. Still not a reality but something that we know God is doing. Each of us is called to carry within us and bring to birth an aspect – one small piece – of that reality.

It may sometimes feel as though the struggles of women in society and the church will never change. And yet, the word of hope that we are given in this encounter is “that nothing is impossible to God.” We simply need to be willing to make our yes and become part of the birthing of that new vision.

Gracious God,

Thank you for the hope offered In the stories of Elizabeth and Mary. As we see the struggle of women in our own time, And feel discouraged or despairing, May we come to know that nothing is impossible for you. May we each carry and birth, Our part for the liberation of all.


Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
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