We celebrate today the Blessed Virgin Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1, 39-57). Tradition holds that Mary left Nazareth at the end of what we now know as March and went over the mountains to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to help care for her cousin Elizabeth. Mary’s presence was intended to be a comfort for Elizabeth, but even more, the presence of the Divine Child in her womb was to be the source of great graces to Christ’s forerunner, St. John.
Feeling the presence of the Savior upon Mary’s arrival, the one who would be called the Baptist leaped for joy in the womb of his mother. In this special moment Mary, for the first time, exercised the office which belonged to the Mother of God: that He might, by her mediation, sanctify and glorify us.
From Pope Francis: “Serving others is a Christian sign. Notice how Mary went ‘in haste’ to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant at an advanced age. Mary’s willingness to travel without hesitation to help her cousin showed great courage. Notice as well how so many courageous women in the Church today are much like Mary: they bring up their families, they are responsible for rearing their children, they bravely face many hardships … they are courageous in their willingness to get up and help other people. Let our hearts be filled with gratitude for all of these women.”
Let us pray. “God our loving Father, you call us to be joyful bearers of the Gospel, imitating the example of our Mother by serving our brothers and sisters in the world. Help us to continue to go to wherever we are called, to live as instruments of your peace, and honor and respect our “common home.” Sharpen and develop our sense of caring in order that your love may bring freedom to our lives and the lives of all those whom we encounter. We ask this through Jesus, your living Word. Amen.”