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This homily was given at the Good Counsel Network on the feast of Visitation.

It would be verging on the irresponsible to miss a chance to say something about today’s feast of the Visitation in the context of the important work you undertake here at the Good Counsel Network. Today we are met with two pregnant women whose children will not only change their lives, but the entire course of human history. In S. Elizabeth’s womb, the young S. John the Baptist leaps for joy as he first encounters Christ who, in the womb of Our Blessed Lady, draws the whole world to himself, even before his birth.

Not only is there a profound joy in the encounter between S. Elizabeth and Our Lady – blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! – but there is a deep sense of the reality of humanity, a deep sense that the encounter between the two women, is in fact a meeting of four people, even if S. John and Our Lord are hidden beneath the protruding bellies of their mothers. In some real way, the Gospel reminds us of the fundamental truth of the dignity of all human life.

The work you carry out here is an extension of this beautiful revelation. You are able, through what you do, to continue that Gospel of Life, drawing others to understand the basic fact that life is a sacred gift, not a manufactured commodity. In doing that, rooted in the Faith, you also present people unwittingly with Christ. Just like Our Lady, you bring him into their presence in a way that they may not even realise – hidden from view, but nonetheless entirely and really there. In acts of charity, and in those moments where you seem to be the only person who cares for a young woman in distress, your contribution is vital – not because it’s you there, but because you have the honour of bringing Christ to them, so that he can infuse their hearts and souls with his love and his grace.

So may God bless you and your work this day, as he so clearly does. May the prayers of S. Elizabeth, S. John the Baptist, and Our Lady, support you in all you undertake. And may Christ, hidden or in plain sight, continue to work through you his good news for the whole of mankind. Amen.