It wasn't a hard teaching for me. As a convert, I had so much more difficulty with the Immaculate Conception and Mary being Queen of the Universe. Mary, Mother of God, was easy in comparison.
After all, Elizabeth said it herself. As the infant John leaps in her womb, Elizabeth turns toward Mary and says, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
There is so much going on in this passage. Elizabeth stands in the place of Israel, representing the Old Covenant. How can we be sure of this? Like so many Old Testament references to Israel, Elizabeth is the once-barren woman, but now she is pregnant with her own child, like Sarah, like Hannah, like Israel herself.
Yet, even though God has blessed Elizabeth beyond her wildest dreams, she is able to look beyond that blessing and see the divine and promised one, hidden within Mary, and yet already in the process of his Incarnation. God has come to earth, and Elizabeth knows it.
Elizabeth knows this is no ordinary mother and no ordinary baby. In this moment, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant embrace, literally. God has chosen his mother, and Elizabeth seems to know it intuitively.
Maybe it's something every mother understands intuitively.
My daughter didn't inherit very many traits from me. Other than being female, she is a carbon copy of her daddy. And yet, I do not say that I am only the mother of those things that she inherited from me. I am the mother of the whole child. I'm not responsible for her nose. I'm not the reason she's a good artist or gifted in music or has a propensity for technology. And yet, I am her mother. The mother of all of her. Jesus' mother is also the mother of Our Lord's divinity. The Mother of God himself. Elizabeth pronounced it first. And today, we celebrate the mystery of Mary's motherhood. Indeed, every generation should rise up and call her blessed.