Liturgical Colour : White
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the roughly three months period after the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus our Lord was visited by the Archangel Gabriel, when she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today’s feast of the visitation to Elizabeth by Mary and its relative date is based on the Gospels, through which we know that at the third month since the annunciation, the Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth who was then heavily pregnant with John the Baptist.
Mary is the culmination of the Lord’s long-planned plan for the salvation of all mankind, God’s beloved creations, and it is through her, that the Lord exercised His power and made available a new hope for all of us, through Jesus, the Son of God, and also Son of Man through Mary His mother, the fulfillment and perfection of the Law and the prophecies of the prophets about the Lord and Messiah who would come to save His people.
Remember in the Book of Genesis, early in the history of Creation when God created mankind and they disobeyed Him by listening to Satan instead of Him? God did not destroy mankind nor did He abandon them entirely even though they had been unfaithful. God foretold the coming of salvation which would come through the descendant of men, and also foretold is that while Satan the snake would latch to the feet of the sons and daughters of man, the woman would crush Satan the snake under her feet.
This woman is Mary, the mother of Jesus our Lord. Through her the salvation of all men came forth, and with her obedience and complete surrender to the will of God, mankind was saved. Satan had indeed had a great dominion and mastery over mankind for a very long time, and he reigned over fallen mankind with absolute tyranny and impunity. But in Mary, he knew that he would meet his end, and there he would be defeated in a total finality. Thus he feared Mary.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, Elizabeth and the baby inside her, St. John the Baptist knew this truth about Mary and the Son inside her, Jesus, the Son of God Most High. Elizabeth and John the Baptist were the ones who had been appointed and chosen by God to be the harbinger and the proclaimer of the Lord’s coming into the world as its Saviour.
If John the Baptist paved the way for Christ and introduced Him to the world, then Elizabeth his mother, as we heard in today’s reading, was the first to proclaim Mary the mother of our Lord, as well as Jesus her Son, to the world. Nevertheless, sadly, just as the people, in particular the Pharisees and the elders disregarded the call of John the Baptist to repentance and to welcome the Lord, nobody regarded Mary the mother of our Lord at that time either.
Such was indeed the situation and the simplicity with which our Lord came into the world. The elders and the Pharisees by their human wisdom and limited understanding failed to understand that the Messiah when He came would not be some sort of an all-conquering Lord who would judge all and bring glory to Israel. These people were looking at nothing sort of a miraculous appearance of a King who would liberate them from the Romans, but they missed entirely the gist of the plan of salvation.
For in the Lord, salvation means as we know it, the complete giving and surrender of Himself and His divinity to come down to us as a humble Man, born of Mary the virgin, the woman whom the Lord had promised to be the one to bear salvation for mankind from the hands and dominion of Satan. And Satan realise that with her, his days in power was numbered, and his doom was waiting for him.
We all, therefore, should rejoice just as Mary had rejoiced, filled with the Holy Spirit, in her song, which we now know as the Magnificat, a song filled with pure joy and praise for God who had made all things happen. And for Mary, and for us, there is no greater reason to celebrate than because of all these, we have been granted a new hope, a new light that pierced away the darkness that used to fill our hearts and our world, giving us a fighting chance to gain everlasting happiness in God.
Let us all renew our commitment to God, rejoice in Him who had come upon this world and saved it through His death. God is kind and loving, and He has shown His favour upon us. We need to return His love and kindness, brethren, that we will all remain in God’s grace and be worthy of the salvation which He had made available for us.
Let us also pray and ask for His beloved mother Mary, to intercede for us and help us that we too may be like her in the obedience and dedication that she had shown. Let us be dedicated in our faith and no longer be complacent in our lives. May God show His mercy and grace to us, and keep us always in His love. Amen.