Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, the last day in the month of May, also known as the month of the Rosary, we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Chronologically, this feast celebrates what occurred back then during the time when Mary, who was bearing within her the Son of God Himself, went to visit her cousin Elizabeth in the hillside of Judea. Elizabeth was then heavily pregnant and was almost due for her son, the future St. John the Baptist, and both women had their children conceived in the most miraculous way. Mary conceived the Child in her womb without any human intervention, as the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and by the power and will of God, the Divine Son of God, the Word of God Himself became incarnate in the flesh, to be born of Mary as the Son of Man, the Saviour of the world. Meanwhile Elizabeth conceived a child in her old age, something that seemed impossible, especially after many years having unsuccessfully conceived a child at all.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we heard from our first reading today taken from the Book of the prophet Zephaniah, we are reminded that this day is truly a joyful celebration because of the great things that the Lord had done for His faithful servants, for Mary and Elizabeth, in performing great and miraculous deeds through them and their respective conceiving of their children. The prophet Zephaniah was conveying the great joy that the people of God ought to experience because of everything that the Lord had shown them, in the faithfulness and steadfastness that He had shown towards His Covenant with all of His beloved people, and in many other things that He has done for us. And most importantly, as mentioned, through Mary and Elizabeth, the light of God’s salvation and Good News was finally revealed to us, through our Lord and Saviour Himself, and through His Herald, St. John the Baptist.
Then, as we heard the account of the encounter between the two women, Mary and Elizabeth as told by our Gospel passage today, we are all reminded of the love which God has shown us that He was willing to come into our midst, and He did so not in a magnificent and glorious manner, but He came to us through two ordinary woman, and especially through His mother Mary, a most ordinary woman and virgin from the unassuming small town of Nazareth in Galilee, with her cousin Elizabeth, another ordinary elderly woman living in Judea. Yet, it was through them that God made His salvation tangible and real to us, one as the mother of His Herald to proclaim His Good News and to prepare everyone for His coming, and one as His own Mother, allowing Him to enter this world in the flesh, coming upon us and dwelling in our midst.
Then in our Gospel passage today, we heard of the great song of rejoicing by Mary, who was full of the Holy Spirit, inspired to sing that song which we all now know as the Magnificat. The Magnificat is a great hymn of praise and thanksgiving which summarised the great joy which all of us mankind experienced for having seen and received the salvation from God and the assurance that everything which He had promised would come true. For Mary herself, the joy was even greater because she would become no less than the Mother of God herself, and God chose her, a humble and poor young woman, as the Vessel and the one to bear the Saviour, to bring forth the deliverance that God has long promised His people. God truly works in mysterious ways, and this was how our salvation came to be, not through great miracles and wonders by a mighty and conquering God, but through a simple yet devout woman who embraced her role and answered positively to the Lord’s call.
Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to these words from the Scriptures and recalled how the Lord had performed His great and wonderful deeds through those two great and holy women, Mary, Mother of God and Mother of us all, and St. Elizabeth, the Mother of St. John the Baptist, all of us are reminded that each and every one of us also share in their grace and the love which God has shown both of them. All of us are also beloved children, the sons and daughters of God by adoption through Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. Therefore, all of us, having been made sharers in our Lord’s plan of salvation and the New Covenant that He has established with us, the Church that He has established in this world as the tangible and real Communion of all those who are faithful to Him, all of us have also received the same assurance of salvation and eternal life, and we should emulate both Mary and Elizabeth in their response and faith.
Each and every one of us have been blessed and provided by the Lord with a variety of gifts, talents, abilities and opportunities, unique to each one of us and our various circumstances. Therefore, all of us are called and sent out to do God’s will in our various capacities and opportunities, and we should do whatever we can to glorify God in all things, and in our every actions and works, in even the smallest and least significant of the things we do. We should live our lives with zeal and commitment, entrusting ourselves to the Lord and doing whatever we can to carry out His will and to follow Him as best as we are able to. We should not be idle or ignorant of what we can contribute to the good works of the Church, but do our best always, at all times to serve the Lord and to inspire each other by our own lives and actions.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us emulate the faith that Mary and Elizabeth had in the Lord and let us do what we can to make good use of the blessings and opportunities provided for us so that we may help to lead more and more souls back towards the Lord and that we may proclaim God and His Good News among more people and in more places, that we do not waste these opportunities provided for us. Each one of us can serve our role and parts as members of God’s Church and as an integral part of the work of the Church’s mission in evangelising the world. Each one of us should help others to fulfil their parts and roles in loving God and loving one another, that the Lord’s works become ever more tangible in this world, and more and more may come to experience God’s great love and glory.
May the Lord continue to guide us in our path, and may He empower all of us to walk ever more faithfully in His ways, providing us the courage and strength to do His will, and the perseverance and commitment to endure the challenges and trials that may come our way. May the Lord give us the Spirit to walk ever more faithfully like Mary and Elizabeth had done, so that we may be more and more like them and our holy predecessors in how we live our lives, now and always. Amen.