Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas: Elizabeth: “God Has Sworn”

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December 11, 2021
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December 11, 2021

*Image: The Visitation by an unknown artist (French or Northern Italian), c. 1630 [National Gallery, London]

By Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, The Catholic Thing, Dec. 11, 2021

Father Peter Stravinskas holds doctorates in school administration and theology. He is the founding editor of The Catholic Response and publisher of Newman House Press. Most recently, he launched a graduate program in Catholic school administration through Pontifex University.

I have written here earlier about Zechariah in relation to Advent. A second model of faith to consider in this season is his wife, the unassuming Elizabeth. Her humble nature comes out in the question she presents rhetorically at Mary’s Visitation: “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43) In other words, who am I to be so honored? This was no false humility but the genuine virtue that enables someone to evaluate his or her own self in the light of the greatness of Almighty God. And so, it’s neither the extreme of breast-beating, self-deprecating insincerity nor that of a bloated ego out of touch with reality.

Because Elizabeth understands her own littleness (belonging to the long line of faithful anawim in the Hebrew Scriptures), she also understands who God is, both in Himself and for her personally. Even her name highlights this, for it means “God is faithful.” …

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