Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-18, Isaiah 12, 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. Today’s feast reminds us of the importance of physical visits. This brings us to our lessons for today:

1. The Power of A Visit: 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. It would not have been enough if Mary had just picked up her phone and texted Elizabeth. When we visit one another, we convey something social media can never bring. Nothing is as beautiful as being present (body, mind and soul) for others. Life is not balanced; no one has it all rosy. We are all going through something. Learn from Mary’s visit – look beyond your challenges and difficulties. Place ourselves in the shoes of others and visit them. Talk to them before talking about them (avoid gossips which damage others’ reputations).

2. Mary is a Mother Who Understands: Elizabeth did not ask Mary to come over. Upon hearing about Elizabeth's situation, Mary immediately ran to her aid. This quick and selfless response is a testament to Mary’s understanding and empathy. She didn't hesitate to help, just as she did for the couple at the Wedding Feast at Cana. She heard there was no wine and went straight to Jesus for help. This is why we ask her intercession.

3. Mary’s Exemplary Humility: Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth lasted three months. Mary, despite carrying God in her womb, chose to assist Elizabeth until she delivered John the Baptist. This act of humility, of putting others’ needs before her own, is a powerful lesson for us all. It shows that God favours the humble and rejects the proud. In her song of thanksgiving, Mary said: “He has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth, all generations will call me blessed… He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree. (Luke 1:51-52)  

4. God is A Master Planner: On a deeper level, Mary’s visit to Elizabeth fulfilled 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.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, grant that we may be carriers of joy wherever we go. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. May God's abundant blessings be upon us all. (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