Mary, Mother of God
Chapter 4 - VISITATION

Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J


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At the Annunciation when Gabriel told Mary that her relative Elizabeth had conceived a son in her old age Mary set out in haste to visit Elizabeth. (Luke 1: 39- 45) She thus confirmed the truth that there is an indissoluble bond between the love of God and the love of the neighbor. You can’t have one without the other.

The Visitation was not only a visit of Mary to Elizabeth but also a visit of Jesus. Mary came but she came with Jesus. The whole mission of Mary is to conceive Jesus, first in her heart by faith, then in the womb by the Holy Spirit, and bring him to others. Mary never comes alone. She always brings Jesus with her. And now Assumed Body and Soul into Heaven she is continuing her mission to bring Jesus to others.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the infant leapt in her womb for joy. And Elizabeth said, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb…Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Mary responded with her Magnificat. (Luke 1: 46-55) “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

Joy is the most infallible sign of the awareness of the presence of God. Mary was joyful because she was aware of the presence of God in her heart and in her womb. Joy is also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit by whom she conceived. So joy must have been an outstanding characteristic of Mary. And she passed this joy on to her son who because of his joy would become the most magnetic personality ever to walk the face of the earth.

“Behold from henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” This prophecy of Mary anchors the devotion to Mary clearly in the Scripture; a fact that even Protestants are beginning to admit today. This prophecy is being fulfilled today perhaps more than ever before. Mary is called blessed in literature, music, sculpture, painting, ceramics, stain glass, shrines, in many feasts and in numerous sacramentals.

Why will they call Mary blessed? Mary gives the reason, “He who is mighty has done great things for me. And holy is his name.” This has been called the perfect act of humility. Humility is truth. And the truth of the matter is that all of the perfections of Mary are a gift from God, and she gives God the credit. When we venerate Mary we are honoring God because we are venerating perfection that has come from Him. And we are also doing God’s will because it is the will of God that his mother be honored.

Mary’s Magnificat is also a strong affirmation of the fidelity of the love of God. Mary had no idea what her consent to be the mother of Jesus would mean. When God calls someone He reveals very little. There is no script, no job description, no map, no blueprint. And God does not promise a rose garden. He promises only that whatever the garden, be it the Garden of Eden or the Garden of Gethsemane He will be there. Mary is the epitome of the faithful people of Israel who wait confidently for God’s salvation. She hears the Word of God and keeps it. And for this she will be forever blessed.

Every one of us has our “Magnificat” to sing. He who is mighty has done great things for each one of us. Each one of us can say that I am an act of the love of God. I am gifted, graced, unique, unrepeatable and indispensable and so are you. I give God a love and service that no one has ever given before and no one will ever give. I accept myself, I love myself, I celebrate myself because in so doing I am accepting, loving and celebrating God. During our quiet time today is a good time to recall and reflect on these great things God has done for us, express our gratitude and then show this gratitude by being happy, happy to be me. In our own magnificat we can proclaim the greatness of God and let our spirit rejoice in God our Savior.



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