Letter to the Ephesians 1:1-14.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.
He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,
to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight
he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ,
as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will,
so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.
In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit;
this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:39-45.
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country,
where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’
The Gospel today demonstrates the agency of the baby in the womb. Mary is already a mother. John can already worship and communicate. Society tells us the child in the womb is of no value. Scripture tells us these children are of great value. Worthy of love and due dignity. We each were little, we each were unseen in our mother’s womb and we are loved by God who created us.
O Word of God,
through your incarnation in the Virgin you have
shown us a marvel:
while still in the Virgin’s womb, you visited
your Forerunner and filled him with your glory.
Lord, fill our hearts with veneration and respect,
our souls with faith and love,
and put praise and glory on our lips.
Then we shall rejoice and exalt you with your Forerunner
and glorify you, your Father and your Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen.