Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

May 31

Zeph. 3:14-18/Rom 12:9-16; Luke 1:39-56

Mary Visits Elizabeth

In today’s Gospel we read the story of Mary visiting with Elizabeth. What gift did Mary bring to Elizabeth? We are not told that she brought foodstuff, although she might as well have brought some. We are told she brought just one thing: herself. She gave Elizabeth the gift of her very presence. And, dear friends, this is the best and the hardest gift of all. It is easy to send flowers, it is easy to send a parcel, but to give the gift of ourselves, to make out the time to be with somebody, that is the gift that many people long for but do not receive at Christmas. Anita’s father gave his little girl a costly tape recorder and made tapes for her, but he did not give her himself, his presence, his time. Following Mary’s example in today’s Gospel story, we must, in addition to the flowers and parcels, give of ourselves, our presence, our time. We must find the time to visit and be with people. This is the greatest gift because its value cannot be calculated in terms of money.

Another point we can make out of Mary’s gift to Elizabeth is that one should give not according to one’s convenience but according to the needs of the receiver. It was not convenient for Mary to travel the lonely, dangerous road from Galilee to the hills of Judea. It was certainly for her an uphill task. But Elizabeth needed a helping hand. She was six months pregnant and would no longer be able to go and draw water from the village well, to look after the crops in her garden and the animals in her farm, she would no longer be able to go to the market to do her shopping. So Mary, as soon as she learned that Elizabeth was six months pregnant went with haste and stayed with her for about three months, meaning, until she gave birth. Mary gave to Elizabeth what she needed when she needed it. That is the perfect gift.

Do you know one thing everybody needs today? Everybody needs encouragement. Everybody needs the interior peace and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. This is what Mary’s visit did for Elizabeth. Mary’s visit was an inspiration to Elizabeth. When we visit people this Christmas, let us try to bring some inspiration into their lives, let us seek to bring them closer to God, and let us try to share with them the Spirit of God in us, the Spirit of consolation, of courage, of peace and joy, just as Mary did. (Fr. Munachi E. Ezeogu, cssp)

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See Today’s Readings: Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Back to: Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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