Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate together the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which essentially commemorates the moment when Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus visited her cousin Elizabeth in the mountainous regions of Judea, travelling there to see how her cousin Elizabeth was doing, after hearing the miraculous news of her pregnancy at a very old age.
Elizabeth was then pregnant with St. John the Baptist, the herald of the Messiah, who was miraculously conceived after many years of unsuccessful marriage without any children between Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah. At the same time, Mary was bearing within her, the Lord and Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, Who was conceived in her by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Divine Word and Son of God Who took up the flesh of man to be born of the Virgin, Mary.
That was why the feast of the Visitation happens after the feast of the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel came to Mary to proclaim her the Good News of God, that she would become the mother of God. Upon the acceptance of Mary, as she said to the Archangel Gabriel, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me as He willed it.’, the Lord was conceived in her womb.
Through these two simple, humble and yet pious women, the Lord had made the salvation which He had promised to His people for a long time into a reality. He had promised them from the beginning of time, from the time when mankind first fell into sin, by telling them that salvation will come to them through their descendant, through a Woman whom God will bless as the bearer of the Saviour.
Therefore, as we today celebrate this feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all of us have to keep in mind, first of all, how the Lord has loved us so much and blessed us so much, that He has given us the best of all gifts possible, by the giving of His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour and Liberator, that all of us may be freed from our sins.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in what we heard in the Gospel today, when Mary came to the house of Elizabeth, St. John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth was so joyful that he reacted with jubilation and his mother could feel his joy, knowing that the Lord and Saviour has come. In that manner, St. John the Baptist had done the first of his duties as the herald of the Messiah, announcing to all the coming of the Lord.
And Mary, filled with the Holy Spirit, sang the song of jubilation and praise, which we also know as the Magnificat. Such was her joy of having received the fullness of God’s grace by entrusting the salvation of the world through her, by the Child in her womb. This is the same joy we all should have, having received such great love and grace from God.
Secondly then, all of us should take note the way of life these two holy women had done, righteous and just throughout their lives, especially that of Mary, the mother of our Lord. She has faithfully committed herself completely to her Son, and to the mission which has been entrusted to her as the mother of God and Saviour.
She has faithfully walked the path, beginning from her acceptance at the time of the Annunciation, and then to the Nativity, when she had to give birth to her firstborn Son in a stable, and had to escape the persecution of king Herod. She has had the joy of following her Son as He grew from a Child to become the One through Whom the world was to be saved.
And she has to endure the greatest pain a mother can have, that is to see her own Son arrested, tortured, ridiculed, rejected by those to whom He had given Himself to in service and love, and ultimately dying on the cross. Yet, Mary remained faithful all the way, even to the foot of the cross and to the tomb. This is why she is our role model in faith, and all of us Christians should follow her examples in our life.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from now on reaffirm our faith in God, and reaffirm our commitment to live a faithful life devoted to Him. Let us all draw closer to the Lord and always strive to do as what He had told us to do, as Mary and Elizabeth had done. And let us all always be filled with joy, knowing that through God, our salvation has come, and indeed, all of us should share that joy and truth with the whole world.
May the Lord bless us all and remain with us always, especially through times of challenges and difficulties, that we will not falter and fall into sin. May He continue to bless our works and guide us at all times, that we will always walk in His path. Amen.