“Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
—Luke 1:42

On this 4th Sunday in Advent, we consider the role of Mary in God’s plan of salvation. Elizabeth describes Mary as the first disciple, as the one who believed that God’s word to her would be fulfilled.

In today’s Gospel, Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. They help one another see God working in their lives. Mary and Elizabeth both trusted in God’s promise that Mary would become the mother of Jesus.

Women like Mary and Elizabeth are at the forefront of our mission to deliver locally sustainable, quality health solutions to poor communities around the world. Many of them have no choice but to deliver their babies at home, otherwise they would have to travel long distances over difficult roads to get access to healthcare. Women like Faith and Susan:

Faith lived more than a two-hour drive from the nearest health facility. It took a long time to organize a vehicle for her, and when they finally arrived, it was too late for her baby.

Susan had been in labor two days in excruciating pain when her father drove her to the hospital on his bike. By the time they got there, Susan had stopped breathing and her heart had stopped. So too, did the heartbeat of her baby.

Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
–Luke 1:45

Disproportionately, women and children suffer the most from illness, poverty, and disparity. Despite important roles within their communities, too many women lack access to quality health care, compounding many other threats to their health and well-being.

We know that improved health means improved lives. We believe that hope has the power to inspire women as they struggle to overcome obstacles and change the lives of their children for the better. We invest in women because they invest in others.

Mary’s openness to God allowed Him to work through her so that salvation might come to everyone. Because of this, Mary is a model and symbol of the Church. May we be like Mary, open and cooperative in God’s plan for salvation.

In grace and peace,
CMMB – Healthier Lives Worldwide

*Today’s reflection was inspired by Loyola Press.

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