Read Zephaniah 3:14-18, Luke 1:39-56

“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leapt in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:41)

We live in a world of technology. Social media connects us to millions of people yet, leaves us empty inside. It has gotten so bad that a couple could be in the same room with each other and still be chatting with themselves on social media. So, while we cannot do away with our mobile phones, today’s feast reminds us of the importance of physical visits.

Elizabeth had a poor reputation. Her neighbours called her a “barren woman.” So now, in her old age, God decided to bless her with the fruit of the womb. Imagine not having friends and having to carry a pregnancy in old age. I bet it would not have been enough if Mary had just picked up her phone and texted Elizabeth.

Mary knew exactly what Elizabeth needed, and she ran to her aid. Note that Elizabeth was not the one who asked Mary to come over. Mary only heard from the Angel Gabriel about Elizabeth and ran to visit her immediately.

This visit lasted for about three months. Mary was there for Elizabeth till the time she delivered John the Baptist. Mary didn’t consider that she was carrying God in her womb; she chose to serve Elizabeth because she recognised that Elizabeth needed help.

Indeed, life is not balanced. No one has it all rosy. Virtually everyone alive today is going through something. However, we can learn from Mary’s visit to look beyond our challenges and difficulties. Let us know to place ourselves in the shoes of others. If you hear something good about others, go and visit them. If you hear something terrible, still visit them; talk to them before you start spreading the news (damaging their names).

On a deeper level, Mary’s visit to Elizabeth marked the fulfilment of the prophecy of Zephaniah in today’s first reading. It teaches us that we serve a God who plans for hundreds of years ahead; a God who never promises and fails; a God who is not selfish – who so cares for us that He gave us His only Son for our salvation. If you only care about yourself, you are yet to know God.

The moment Mary greeted Elizabeth, John the Baptist leapt to acknowledge the presence of Jesus Christ in Mary’s womb, and Elizabeth was enveloped with the Holy Spirit. She announced that Mary would forever be honoured by humanity for accepting to be the mother of Jesus, and this prophecy is playing out even now.

When we visit one another, we convey something social media can never bring. Text and chat all you like, but there is nothing as beautiful as being present (body, mind and soul) for others. So drop that phone and visit someone in need of help today. Become a carrier of joy.

Let us pray: Our heavenly Father, grant that we may be carriers of joy wherever we go. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Feast, Bible Study: Zephaniah 3:14-18, Isaiah 12, Luke 1:39-56)

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu