The Visitation of Holy Mary
(Zephaniah 3: 14 – 18a; Ps Isaiah 12; Luke 1: 2 39 – 56)
Blessed Mary, in her holy humanity, goes to aid her cousin Eilzabeth but also, I believe, to receive affirmation from a loving heart and a listening ear. Mary cannot hold back, keep secret what has happened; the message of the angel is too awesome, so encompassing so she hastens, runs to Elizzabeth, a dear cousin and a soul mate.
It happens that Elizabeth has also received an annunciation. What she says, the greeting she gives comes from the Holy Spirit “Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” And she does affirm Mary, “Blessed are you who believed that which was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled!” We can imagine how these words of her dear cousin lifted Mary’s heart.
Truly, deeply uplifted Mary sings out her praise; she sings a kind of creed exalting God her Savior – truth she treasured – the canticle flows from her heart spontaneously, gracefully, without effort. Mary remained with her cousin and her whole being grew in greater and greater trust while the One within her developed, the One she is to name “Jesus” – the Son of the Most High. Her “let it be done according to your word” – was happening – what wonder, what awe she must have felt, how humbled by God’s goodness.
Holy Mary of the Visitation is an icon of faith, of trust, of surrender, of humility, a model of the Church and for each of us.
In the Byzantine tradition, there is this beautiful hymn of praise of the Theotokos
– the God-bearer –
More honorable than the cherubim and beyond compare.
More glorious than the Seraphim who a virgin gave birth to God the Word. Truly the Mother of God we magnify you.
In our prayer and in our daily lives there must be faith, trust, humility, surrender in strong imitation of our Mother. St. Teresa of Avila wrote:“Our deeds show that our words, our prayers are not merely polite.”