Fourth Sunday of Advent
The visitations of Mary in the history
During those days Mary set out and travelled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Lk 1,39-45
After having received the message of the archangel Gabriel, Mary leaves the house of Nazareth and she speeds up across the hills to meet, in her house, the cousin Elizabeth. It is not only the meeting of these two women but also the meeting of Jesus, just conceived, with John the Baptist, his precursor. The hidden director of this joyous event is the Holy Spirit: “Elizabeth was full of Holy Spirit and she loudly exclaimed: “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy”. It is a moment of joy to which the all of them participate: Elizabeth, John the Baptist, surely also Jesus who, although have been recently conceived, definitely rejoiced and eventually Mary, from whom mouth, immediately after, the marvellous song of the Magnificat will burst out: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my saviour. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever”. (Lk 1,46-55). The same personages who met on that day in the house of Elizabeth meet and rejoice at the baptism of every child: the Holy Spirit, Mary, Jesus, but also John, who desires to know the person to whom a certain day in the future he will return to “prepare the ways” for a more conscious meeting with the Lord. Also Elizabeth participates, because every parent is mysteriously present in the event of the sons, to whom he has given the life and an education until they became adult and responsible persons. Each baptism is a moment of feast and joy, in the earth and in the heaven. Later, when the child becomes an adult, the Holy Spirit, Mary and the Lord will continue to be present in his life and their presence will continue to be a reason of praise, of joy, of illumination and of providence. When, during our path of faith, we need to understand or to receive a particular strength, we can address to the Lord or, indifferently, to the Holy Spirit or to Mary who, being married in the house of Nazareth, in the event of the Annunciation, arrive always together. It is for this reason that the Holy Spirit is the animator and the secret inspirer of the Church, of which Mary is mother: because the two of them are always present. We too, being married since a lot of years, share always the pray, the daily bread, the commitments and the formation of the sons. Even if our professions cause us, during the day, to live in different contexts each of us considers the other always present: in the thoughts, in the prays and in the words, when the opportunity is there with the persons whom we meet. The love between married persons, as we have been able to observe in a lot of other couples whom we know, is fed and it grows up along the time just creating always new moments of union.