Today’s Gospel unites two women whose pregnancies are miracles of God’s grace. The elderly Elizabeth had been barren, a cursed condition in this culture and thus a source of great shame. Elizabeth’s relative Mary is neither aged nor infertile, yet her child’s conception is even more miraculous because achieved by the Holy Spirit’s direct action.

In a society where we can legally destroy the lives of unborn children, today’s Gospel reminds us that every child conceived in a mother’s womb is sacred to God, personally created and cherished. This includes each one of us!

Elizabeth and Mary understand that their children have special vocations, unique roles in salvation history. They are prepared to consecrate their children to God from whom they come as gifts. Do we teach our children and grandchildren that marriage is a beautiful vocation from God? Do we foster in our young people openness to the special vocation of priesthood or consecrated life?

Fr. Rob Kroll, S.J. is Superior of the Jesuit Community at Creighton Prep, Omaha, NE.