Feast of the Visitation
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
I was at Mass today on the Feast of the Visitation and the Priest spoke about the significance of the Old Testament prefigurement of the Visitation. In 2 Samuel because Uzzah is struck dead for touching the ark of the covenant David feels unworthy to bring the ark to Jerusalem. So David took the ark to the house of Obed-edom. And the ark remained there for 3 months. While the ark was there the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household. David recognizes that Obed-edom is blessed because of the ark and knows he can now bring the ark to Jerusalem.
“…The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him because of the ark of God…” – 2 Samuel 12
This story parallels Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. Just as the ark stayed with Obed-edom for 3 months, so Mary stays with Elizabeth for 3 months.
We know that Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant, carrying God within her womb. But what else can we learn from this?
We can learn that when Mary visits, you will be blessed. Tradition teaches us that John the Baptist was cleansed from original sin when he leap in the womb upon Mary and Jesus’ arrival. This is why Jesus proclaimed of John the Baptist;
“I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” Luke 7:28
In other words, the closer to Jesus through Mary that we get the more pure we become. Pure of heart, mind, body and soul. The Saints knew this.
It got me thinking too about Marian apparitions. She still comes to us. She still wants to purify us through her Son. In pondering just a few apparitions, from Guadalupe, to Fatima, to Akita, Mary has come to visit us. She always brings a message beckoning us to her Son.
“Know, know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the God of truth through Whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near us, the Lord of heaven and earth. I want very much to have a little house built here for me, in which I will show Him, I will exalt Him and make Him manifest. I will give Him to the people in all my personal love, in my compassion, in my help, in my protection: because I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me…” – Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego
…My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God….” – Our Lady of Fatima to the children June 13, 1917
“Most holy Mother of God, never let me be separated from Your Divine Son. Please defend and protect me as Your Special Child. Amen.” – Prayer Our Lady of Akita taught Sister Agnes on July 6, 1973
She beckons us to pray. She is in union with her son.
“My son and I redeemed the world as with one heart.” – The Blessed Virgin to Saint Brigid of Sweden.
She also brings with her warnings.
“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead.” – Our Lady of Akita
And within those warnings she implores us to pray the Rosary.
“… Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests.” – Our Lady of Akita
“Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.” – Our Lady of Fatima
What we see when Mary visits is a Mother united to her Son, imploring us to KNOW HIM, to pray, and to repent and turn back to God. We should all bring Mary into our homes like Elizabeth did, like John did;
When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, here is your son.” The He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” So from that hour, this disciple took her into his home. – John 19:26-27
Listen to her command;
“Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:5
Uzzah did not obey the command of the Lord. It brought death. Mary, as the ark, always implores us to obey her Son because it is in obedience because we love Him that we flourish. He brings life and brings it abundantly. Through her His grace pours blessings over us. As we see the degradation of man happening all around us, we can look to Mary as the guidepost, the map, of how to live a life of holiness. Her Magnificat tells us of the God who is merciful. Let your heart beat with the Sacred and Immaculate Heart. Let Mary visit, and may you leap for joy and may you and your household be blessed as she brings you ever closer to her Son.