Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Visitation

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“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.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
- Luke 1:41-47

Mary's visitation with Elizabeth is important in several ways. First of all, Mary has learned of Elizabeth's good fortune to conceive in her old age through the angel, Gabriel, and therefore, she goes hastily to the hill country to share in Elizabeth's joy. When she first sees Mary, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, announces the blessedness of the fruit of Mary's womb, and thus Mary's blessedness. She recognizes that Mary is carrying the light of the world in her womb, a recognition that can only come about through the grace of the Holy Spirit. The utter joy that permeates the scene is such that even the baby in Elizabeth's womb leaps in the presence of Christ in Mary's womb. So, the first aspect of the visitation that is important is the joy which is experienced by all present, even the unborn.

Second, Mary in a way became an evangelist through her visitation with Elizabeth. Mary brought to Elizabeth knowledge that God's plan of salvation had been put into place. She brought to Elizabeth the good news of the incarnation of God which ultimately would lead to reconciliation between God and humanity. Think about it; is this not what evangelists do? Mary led the way in proclaiming the coming of salvation through her acceptance of God's will, and unlike evangelists that have come since her, she did not have the benefit of knowing how the story would end. She merely had great faith that God was true to his promise that from her womb, the salvation of the world would spring forth.

And lastly, Mary does not revel in her good fortune and hoard it over Elizabeth. Despite Elizabeth's proclaiming Mary blessed of all women, Mary takes no glory for herself, rather, she "magnifies the Lord." Makes you wonder how anyone can make the Lord bigger. What Mary does is she brings the greatness of God into focus for all to see. His glory is revealed through his favor to the lowest of his servants not through favor to the haughty. Mary is "lowly" not because she is worthless in God's eyes, but because she is aware that without the Lord, she is nothing, and therefore, her soul proclaims with joy God's greatness which is revealed in his plan of salvation, a plan in which she plays an integral part.

Our Blessed Mother brought forth the savior of the world. She has revealed God's favor to mankind through the birth of her Son, Jesus. Let us never cease to give God glory for the wonderful gift of Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.


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