Sunday Advent Reflection: Visitation
The Visitation by James Tissot
The Blessed Virgin was certainly given a vocation in being the Mother of God, but she was also given an apostolate of sorts in that of bringing Jesus to people in a personal way. It began with Elizabeth.
The first thing Mary did after the Annunciation was to go, in haste, to Elizabeth, who in her advanced years, was also given the vocation of motherhood. At first glance it looks as if that was all they had in common, but they had more. Both women, as excited as they both were, probably experienced a bit of fear and anxiety. In the eyes of the world, neither was really at what it would call the optimum age for pregnancy. They were at opposite ends of that spectrum~Mary a mere teenager and Elizabeth in advanced years. However, the other thing they had in common was trust in God. This trust is what dissipated the anxiety. Their sons would both be great. Jesus would come to save mankind and John would make straight His way.
In the Visitation Mary began her apostolate of bringing Christ to others. She continues it even today; all she wants to do is bring each of us closer to her Son. In that, each of us, like Elizabeth has had our own visitation. What should our response to this visitation be? The same as Elizabeth's~humble recognition : "Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:43)
Two thousand years ago, Mary went in haste to the hill country of Judea. Today she comes in haste to each of us. As Advent comes to an end, may we each be alert, aware and attentive to our own visitation by the Blessed Virgin and may our hearts leap within us as we recognize the One she carries.
O Most Blessed Virgin,
I am no one that you, the Mother of my Lord should come to me, but you recognize my need for a Savior and you have brought Him to me. May my heart leap within me as John leaped within the womb of Elizabeth, and may my spirit rejoice in God my Savior as yours did. For He has looked with kindness and mercy on me, His poor and humble servant and despite my many sins has done great things in and for me.
With Elizabeth, I too cry in a loud voice, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus." (Luke 1:42)
Have a Blessed Sunday!
Note on the above statue: This statue actually sits in my living room. It was a gift from the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ for giving my witness at their Post-Abortion Healing Seminar several years ago. You can read more about the statue and its rich symbolism by clicking the link under the statue above.