Filled With the Holy Spirit

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As the Christmas story continues to unfold in the liturgy, today's Gospel reading is the story of the visitation, when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth's greeting to Mary is very telling.

"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, 'Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

Do those words sound familiar? If you're Catholic, they should. They are part of the Hail Mary prayer. The whole first half of that prayer is simply quoting Scripture. And note that when Elizabeth spoke those words, she was filled with the Holy Spirit. So it should be with us whenever we ask for the intercession of the Blessed Mother. Without her "yes," the world would be a very different place.

Hail, Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Today's Readings


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