Scripture: Zephaniah3,14-18; Resp.: Is12,2-6; Gosp. Accl.: Lk1,45; Gospel: Luke1,39-56
God decided to honour her! God decided in His inscrutable wisdom that all generations will call her blessed. In His eternal plan He did marvels, the greatest marvels for her. God, the maker of the law concerning our human nature and existence, suspended His own laws when it came to this Virgin daughter of Sion.
In His plan to save man from self destruction, God decided to send His Son through this Virgin. It was God's decision. It was a risk, taking into consideration the unreliable and fickle people humanity had become. For this reason, He prepared this woman from the moment of her conception in the womb of her mother.
She was thus prepared by God Himself in view of the merits of His Son and the work His Son would be coming into the world to achieve. God it was who gave this never-heard-of privilege to a woman. Through this woman and the Son she was to bear, the judgements against humanity would be taken away, the infernal enemies of man would be cast out. Through this woman and her seed, the King of Israel would assume corporeal, bodily nature and be in the midst of our suffering nature.
With the presence of the King in the midst of His people, they would fear no more, their hands would grow no more weak! Through the Son of this Virgin who would be the presence of the King in the midst of His people, God the mighty King would give victories to His people. Yahweh God will rejoice over His people with gladness, renew in them His love, exult over them "with loud singing as on a day of festival."
That woman, that Virgin daughter of Zion, Mary the Mother of God, accepted with unqualified humility, her role in the work of salvation. It was that humility, kindheartedness and love that led her, after her own conception of the only begotten Son of God in her Virginal womb, to make a long and oft risky journey to the hill country, to a city of Judah, to visit her cousin Elizabeth who had herself conceived miraculously at a very old age.
That visitation of love which lasted for three months of service, that expression of closeness to assist a fellow human being in need, brought about the revelation of God's eternal plans in the lives of these two mothers. The child in Elizabeth's womb leaped at Mary's greeting. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and declaimed a prophecy: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" Elizabeth prophetically called Mary "the mother of my Lord"! and asked why Mary should come to her, when in reality she was the one who should have come to Mary!
On that occasion, Elizabeth called Mary blessed: "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." After this, Mary the mother of God, praised the God of her salvation, "He who is mighty", for the honour done to her for which all generations would call her blessed. To shame the proud of this earth, God chose and raised up this lowly daughter to exult her.
The church calls on all her children to imitate the virtues of this Blessed Mother: her humility, total acceptance of God's will, her total, undivided love for God that nourished her love for her neighbours, her devotion to her duties, her care and concern for her family and the family of her Son's followers, her deep commitment to her role in salvation history. The church is proud to propose her to us as mother, since her Founder and Lord did so on the cross.
Let us imitate her virtues. Let us learn from her what true love of God entails. She carried God in her womb, gave birth to Him, fed and nourished Him, breastfed Him, touched Him, washed Him, taught Him scriptures, protected Him from enemies and all harm, saw Him grow from childhood to manhood, witnessed His public ministry, experienced the opposition and hatred directed against Him, saw Him suffer terrible tortures, was at the foot of the cross, saw Him die, witnessed His Resurrection and Ascension into glory! Who could be more privileged? To whom could greater honour be given? Let us love her. May she continue to intercede for us in this 100th year of her apparition in Fatima. May she bless our humanity with peace and love.
Let us pray: "Almighty ever-living God, who while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb inspired her to visit Elizabeth; grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. Happy Feast.