Last May 31, 2012, it was the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth. It was a very wonderful day because later that evening, we would be Consecrating our lives to her! The Young Men and Young Women’s sections of Regnum Christi here in Manila usually have weekly Eucharistic Hour every Thursday at the Everest Academy. I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to preach once again. The most exciting thing was, it was going to be on the Feast day of the Visitation! I had only found out I was going to preach the day before. I was soooo nervous because I thought I wouldn’t be able to prepare a good reflection. Though with the grace of the Holy Spirit and the overpowering love of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I had completed my talk.
Soooo, allow me to share with you my reflection:
The Gospel for the day: Luke 1:39-56
How do we feel when we are placed in the midst of someone Great or Blessed?
As we consecrate ourselves later to the Blessed Virgin Mary, we ask her today to help us grow in humility.
When we are in the presence of something or someone great, we call to mind how we sometimes feel as though we are unworthy of certain things, even positions, yet, in the sight of God, through the Holy Spirit, He makes us aware that He chooses to give us things or make us experience situations when we least expect it. It doesn’t mean that we are so talented and that we are the only who can have such things, but because He has chosen the lowly and those who are not expecting of too much. It is because He knows we do things not for recognition, but for us being enabled by the Holy Spirit to do great things for the Lord. Not for ourselves, but for Him.
On Mary visiting Elizabeth, this is considered an act of humility and joy that she had to the share to the world. A joy that was filled with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. A feeling that cannot be contained and be selfish about. [The fact that she was chosen by God to bear his Son, the Angel Gabriel announced this to her, though she was scared, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, she had to joyfully proclaim it to the world. In this case, she wanted her cousin to share in this joy.] Mary then teaches and shares with us that anyone can be chosen for great things if we place all our cares to God and by not expecting anything in return. We must be selfless in all that we do, and do everything out of love for God. Taking things with an open mind and heart that, whoever we are, for as long as we humble down ourselves, God can lift us up: THE LOWLY.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on His lowly servant.”
In that same light, when we wonder why God chooses us for certain things and why He wills us for unexpected occasions. As Elizabeth said, “And how does this happen to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Mary epitomizes then the Words of Christ to the Pharisees, “I did not come to call the righteous but the sinners.” In Mary’s case though, as she visits her cousin Elizabeth, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, God can and always will lift up the lowly even if we think we are not worthy; in our case, sinners who are not worthy of God’s love.
Then we come to the most important lesson of the Visitation of Mary. The joy of God’s love that springs forth from the deep experience in prayer without us realizing it. Through the experience of the VISITATION, it becomes our reminder of the humility that we want to grow in our lives. It is through a deep and joyful realization that can be a result of a simple act of generosity, like Christ calling His disciples, Joseph being chosen to become Mary’s spouse, and of course Mary being chosen to bear the Son of God. It is through this that the joy of being chosen to be Blessed, that Elizabeth, just like the rest of us, too can experience that same magnificence of God’s love and the recognition of what is to come as the baby in her womb (John the Baptist) leapt for joy. It is when are in need of something great, the Lord is there waiting to fill us with the joyful knowledge that we are loved.
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
[Sharing of an experience]
During the Challenge Summer Camp last May, because the girls were divided into different teams, we found division between the kids. For the younger girls, they found indifference to the other kids who were from different schools — Everest girls vs. the “non” Everest girls. Same with the older girls, they found division with the girls who were, we can say, a little bit more eccentric than they were. Take note! We had 37 girls so the room can really be heated up! But with this situation, God reminds us that through the much older girls present (the team leaders), they were like Mary who visited Elizabeth, we find joy and consolation when we experience love from those who are willing to go the extra mile despite how hard it may be or even if there are many obstacles along the way. The Lord through His mother allows us to experience His love in the moments when we feel down or when we feel we are unworthy. Again, He lifts up the lowly.
As I end this reflection, and as we pray to Christ in a special way today, let’s each one of us ask our Blessed Mother to help us continue to live out God’s plan for us wholeheartedly, with a humble heart, and a joyful desire to be filled in Christ’s love, just as she did when she gave her YES TO GOD!
To help in each one’s reflection, allow me to share with you a poem written by Sr. Mary Aimee, OCD taken from her book for her Diamond Jubilee celebration as a nun.
Mary Mother of the Church
They stood at the foot of the mountain.
(The mountain that had darkened with the cloud of his presence and thundered with his voice.)
They built an altar there.
Moses read the words of the covenant to them.
God was looking his people straight in the heart.
“Will you be my people? Will I be your God?”
They answered straight from their heart.
“All that you want, Yahweh, we will do.”
They became his people; he was their God;
the blood of the covenant was sprinkled upon them;
their elders saw Yahweh and the sapphire floor beneath
They ate and drank.
A covenant is for life.
A covenant is for living, for growth.
And when the fullness of time had come
God sent his Son, born of a woman.
The people stood at the foot of another mountain,
(A mountain that held the crosses of criminals.)
The altar was the altar of his body,
Hewn from the most pure rock of Mary’s flesh.
The words of the covenant had been spoken.
“He who sees me. sees the Father…
Blessed are the poor in spirit… the clean of heart…
Love one another as I have loved you…
This is my Body…
Greater love than this no man has…”
The blood of the covenant was dripping from his veins.
God was looking his people straight in the heart.
And no one understood.
No one but the woman.
The woman – pure as the sapphire floor of Yahweh.
The answer of all humanity was in her heart.
She had learned to say it thirty-four years ago.
It had grown with her life.
Now it was complete: “Ecce…Fiat…”
We were born of Mary on that mountain.
We were born of God.
A covenant is for living, for life.
The body of Christ still bleeds.
Do we, like our Mother, understand?