As she made her way to visit Elizabeth, Mary must have been contemplating the call she received from God. Here she was, a young woman, a child by our standards, carrying a child of her own, despite not yet living with her betrothed, Joseph. She did say yes, agreeing to what God was asking of her, but it certainly was not easy. There had to have been more than a few glances her way, questioning, clucking of tongues. She said yes, she accepted the burden. She was to be the mother of the Messiah, the hope of every girl. Still, it could not have been easy. Were she to have become discouraged, who could blame her? After being greeted by Elizabeth, Mary says, “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.” Despite the difficulties she faced, despite the glances, the questions, the clucking tongues, Mary, young Mary, can still say that her soul proclaims God’s greatness and that God has looked on her with favor. Rather than being discouraged she is encouraged. She understands she is fully in God’s hands.
All of us have experienced discouragement. Things go wrong, things cause us pain, things happen that seem to want to push us away from God. And we let them. Faced with adversity, too often we turn away from God, not toward God. We may try to barter with God, to bribe God, but it doesn’t work and we don’t really mean it anyway. The going gets tough and we…quit. It just seems easier, I suppose. We forget, we forget what Mary knew, what we know, if we only stop to think about it. We are not in this alone, God is with us always, in all things. Mary knew, Mary understood that, “the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.” This day, as we celebrate Mary, let us recall her example to us, so that we can remember what God has done for us, so that we may say, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…”
Feast of the Visitation
May 31, 2007