May 31st, 2022

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
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,
            for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
            the Almighty has done great things for me,
            and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
            in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
            he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
            and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
            and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
            for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
            the promise he made to our fathers,
            to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

Reflection:

Today, we commemorate the Blessed Virgin’s trip “in haste” to visit her elder kinswoman, Elizabeth – the “Visitation”.  This immediately follows the telling of the Annunciation in Luke’s narrative of Jesus’ infancy.  To me, it demonstrates the servant’s heart that Jesus has for us – His own earthly Mother, rather than rest up for the birth, goes “in haste” to visit her kinswoman, to be a support for her.

And, we have the beautiful retelling of the “Magnificat”, the wonderful song of praise from Mary to God, and in it, we have words that help us who follow after to know what is important, and what lasts.  I’d like to highlight just this one part of Mary’s song:

He has filled the hungry with good things,
            and the rich he has sent away empty.

We are the “hungry” if we recognize that all that we have is nothing except a gift from our loving God.  We can’t do anything on our own to merit God’s love and mercy, and yet He gives it to us.  He gave us His very Self, in Jesus’ sacrifice, and as Catholics, we are able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist even every day!

Those who are “rich” are those who think they have it all.  In fact, “things” we accumulate will not last – they will rot away and turn to dust.  Mary’s song says very clearly that we should always seek to be “hungry” for God’s mercy, for then we will be filled.

Let us be thankful for Mary’s “yes”, and for her servant’s heart that Jesus also had, which drove Him to give Himself for us.  And, let us be thankful that, while we can do nothing to merit God’s mercy, He gives it to us as a gift, as part of giving Himself to us every day.

Action for the Day:

Take a few minutes today to read the “Magnificat” from today’s Gospel, and ask God to show you how you can be His instrument to help bring about peace today.

If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below! 

Statue of Mary & Elizabeth, outside the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem

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