VISITATION OF MARY TO ELIZABETH. (Lk.
Mary and Elizabeth share their joy!
is model, teacher, guide, inspiration, life, sweetness and hope to all
to raise their eyes to her with love. In
the beautiful prayer of St. Bernard, the
Memorare, we pray with confidence: “Never was it known that anyone who had
recourse to Mary was left unaided…”
May is the month of Mary and it
concludes with one of the most beautiful Marian Feast days--- the Visitation of
the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin St. Elizabeth. Many superb spiritual lessons can be learned
from this Marian gem, which also is the 2nd Joyful mystery. Let us
descend into the “Spiritual mine” and grab on to the excellent treasures.
Mary and the Anunciation
CONNECTION BETWEEN THE ANUNCIATION
AND VISITATION. The last part of the
prior mystery--- the Annunciation/Incarnation--- ends with Mary’s “Fiat”---
that is to say Mary’s “Yes” to God. The
exact words are: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me
according to your word.” In that
moment, one of the most moments in the history of the world took place: the
Incarnation of the Son of God. That is
to say, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, descended from Hos heavenly
throne, and became Incarnate (man) in the most pure womb of the Virgin Mary! In rapt awe, we humbly adore this sublime
COMMUNION AND FRATERNAL CHARITY. Mary did not keep the “Gift” of Jesus to
herself, but went in haste to share the gift to others. She started an 80
kilometer journeyed, travelling uphill to Ain Karim to visit her cousin
Elizabeth to help her in her need. Pope
Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis” insists that
Mass and Holy Communion must transform us into ardent missionaries, to bring
the Good News of Jesus to the whole world.
Mary did not procrastinate, put off, delay, make excuses, rationalize or
justify postponing her trip; rather, she followed the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit and moved immediately. Lesson!
Upon receiving good inspirations from the Holy Spirit, we should be both docile
and prompt and obedient to respond.
TRAVEL WITH MARY AND TALK TO
HER. Enter into an Ignatian
contemplative scene and imagine Mary travelling. Her joy, her quick pace, her awareness of
Jesus within her, her determination to carry out God’s will despite the possible
obstacles--- all of these, made up the long trek to Ain Karim. You can accompany Mary, admire her majesty,
but also be inspired by her humility and simplicity; during this long journey
with Mary, open up your heart and talk to her about what is going in in your
life. Why not even tell her what is most heavy on your mind. Mary is the best of listeners!
Our Lady of the Eucharist
EUCHARISTIC PROCESION. Remember!
The little Jesus is already present in the womb of Mary. Therefore, as
you travel, remember that this indeed is a “Eucharistic Procession” (a Corpus Christi procession). Mary always wants to draw us closer to Jesus;
her last words at the wedding Feast of Cana were: “Do whatever He tells you!” Great advice!
Beg for the grace to have a greater faith, love and devotion towards the
This is the 2nd Joyful mystery. Being with Jesus and Mary is the true and
authentic source of joy. Mary’s canticle
(Her Magnificat) emphasizes this truth: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the
Lord and my spirit rejoices (finds joy) in God my Savior…” May we always
seek joy in the authentic source: JESUS THER LORD!
Joy in the greeting: Shalom!
GREETING! Most likely, Mary greeted Elizabeth with the
typical Jewish greeting, SHALOM--- peace
be with you! Our homes, our families, our
communities, our groups, our parishes, our activities, should be characterized
by a “Shalom” atmosphere. A warm,
welcoming, and inviting milieu should be created. An essential note of
apostolic effectiveness is that of creating a warm and welcoming environment.
Mary teaches us this by her greeting!
BABY JOHN LEAPS FOR JOY! At the sound of Mary’s greeting the infant
John in the womb of St. Elizabeth leaps for joy. What is happening here? Jesus, already even before being born, is acting
as Redeemer, by freeing John His cousin and Precursor from the bond of Original
Sin. Message! Contact with Jesus and Mary though prayer
undoubtedly will serve as a powerful means to diminish the grip of sin upon us
and to eventually shatter the binding force and slavery of sin. Sin indeed is slavery and Jesus and Mary came
to give us true freedom, the freedom of the sons and daughters of God! “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us
who have recourse to thee.”
Mary forming Jesus in the womb
PRO-LIFE PASSAGE “PAR EXCELLENCE!” Both of these women in the modern society
could be candidates for abortion. Why? One was very young, Mary; whereas, the
other was very old, Elizabeth. However,
both had an infinite trust in God’s Divine Providence and gave birth to the
greatest: St. John the Baptist and
JESUS, THE SON OF GOD! At all times, by our meditation on the mystery of the
Visitation, may we be staunch defenders of human life, from the moment of
conception until natural death. God is
the author and origin of life and only He has the right to take life to
Traditional art of the Visitation
10.MARY AND ACTIVE
SERVICE. Love for God cannot limit
itself to words, but must manifest itself in actions, in service, in seeing
Jesus truly present in others! Not only
did Mary greet Elizabeth, but she also actively served her aged, pregnant
cousin in her need! With a little bit of
imagination(Ignatian Contemplation), we can picture Mary and accompany her in
active service! What might have been
some of the activities that Mary would have carried out with joy and love? Travelling
to the well to gather water--- no running water back then! Sweeping the dust and dirt from the humble
home—no vacuum cleaners 2000 years ago! Washing, hanging and drying clothes---
no expensive washing machines to quicken the work. Cooking, baking, preparing meals, setting the
table, washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen--- No “Burger-King”,”
Pizza-Hut or “KFC” available! Nor were
there overflowing refrigerators, to be checked and emptied in the waste every
week! All of these humble, domestic
chores Mary would have carried out with the greatest love and attention to aid
her cousin Elizabeth. Remember! Holiness does not depend on the greatness of
the act, but in the great love that accompanies every action--- even if it appears
to be small and insignificant in the eyes of the world. The secret of the sanctity of St Therese and
Mary in the mystery of the Visitation is to do the ordinary things of daily
life with extraordinary love! That is
In conclusion, let us contemplate the
life, words, gestures, actions of Mary, most holy, especially in the Mystery of
the Visitation, and be motivated to transfer our contemplative life into active
service of our brothers and sisters, who are really Jesus Christ! “Whatsoever
you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”
Thank you Mary for your "Yes!"