As I prayed the joyful mysteries of the Holy Rosary one morning, I found myself imagining the long and perilous trek that Mary undertook from Nazareth to a town in a hill country of Judea to visit Elizabeth. It must have been an exhausting journey, yet Mary did not allow anyone or anything to stop her to reach out to Elizabeth. At the same time, Elizabeth set aside her personal concerns to be there for Mary. Both women could have been preoccupied with their own pregnancies and focus on themselves as they made radical adjustments with all that new life brings. But Mary and Elizabeth chose to be there for each other; to pray, listen, console and give the gift of themselves in the midst of everything that they must have been going through.
That same evening when the women of the Jerusalem community gathered for the visitation of Becky on December 7, I saw the Visitation Scene of Mary and Elizabeth came to life. Everyone set aside their own agenda to gather together to pray for the Lord’s blessing on Becky and baby. Everyone anticipated that evening, prepared for it ahead, and took the time to be there as a source of encouragement for each other.
It was a vibrant and spirit-filled evening hosted by Noemi at their lovely home. Aside from the women of the Jerusalem community, several Indian friends of Becky also came over. After a short introduction to get to know each other, we started with a typical Filipino icebreaker called draw-message relay. We formed two teams and the team leaders were given a word that they needed to relay by drawing each letters of the word at the back of another team member. Then the latter had to pass on that word to another until the last person, then correctly relay the word back to the game master. After this icebreaker, Noemi led us to a time of worship and thanksgiving. Priscilla played the piano and Rodgee played the guitar as we sang our praises to the Lord. Subsequently, Claire deeply moved our hearts as she shared her experiences during her own pregnancies and how this is akin to the advent season of waiting. Claire’s sharing made me reflect that as we allow God to paint the tapestry of our future and as we allow Him to take over, we will come to find that His timing is worth waiting for. Becky also shared to us her experiences during her pregnancy now; she shared her struggles, doubts and uncertainties, and how the Lord has been so gracious in sending people as God’s vessels of love. Consequently, Katrien led us to a pray over for Becky, for her baby, for her entire family, and for all her other concerns. The Lord’s presence was truly evident as prayers and words of encouragement were showered for Becky. After this, we were all invited to partake of the delicious food that were prepared for that evening where sharing of stories continued until the end of the evening.
On my way home back to Gent, I wondered how the baby felt that evening. Like John inside the womb of Elizabeth, I hope that it felt how excited we are to welcome him/her and that he/she also jumped with gladness in the presence of the Lord.