The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste …, 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.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior …” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. Lk 1,39-56
After the Annunciation of the archangel Gabriel, Maria leaves the home of Nazareth and she speeds up, through the hills, to reach the home of her cousin Elizabeth, who is also blessed by the Lord with a motherhood which seemed impossible. At the sound of the voice of Mary, the Holy Spirit floods of light Elizabeth and it startles with joy the child which she brings in the womb. This occurs because Mary brings with her the sanctifying presence of Jesus and John, already in the womb of Elizabeth, receives through her the purification which gives him the investiture of a forerunner of Christ. The leap of John pulls an exclamation of joy to Elizabeth, because she was in front of the mother of God. It can be considered, therefore, that the glory of Mary was proclaimed for the first time by John the Baptist. He is simultaneously both the witness of Christ and Mary. We could go further to probe this mystery of the Visitation, because the little which the gospel tells us opens unlimited horizons. If the first contact of Mary with Elizabeth has caused these effects, the communion of souls which has developed between these two women in the three months they remained together is not imaginable. Nor are conceivable the communion and the spiritual journey of Mary and Joseph during the years spent in the house of Nazareth. These are mysteries of the faith and as such these will always remain. One thing is however sure: if the only approaching of Mary has attracted so much joy in Elizabeth, who knows what wonders has the Holy Spirit implemented in Joseph, to whom it has always been grateful for taking loving care of Mary and Jesus. It is possible to think that the Holy Spirit is pleased to grant him, even today, many graces. Furthermore, no one more than Joseph has been familiar with the power, the sweetness, the enthusiasm and the sensitivity of the mediation of Mary. Mary and Joseph, also today, are the two main vehicles of graces. We started by pondering the mystery of the Visitation and we finished talking about Joseph, of whom it is possible to feel the greatness, as a mountain in the background.