Monday, May 31, 2021
Zephaniah 3:14-18 or Rom: 12:9-16, Psalm: Isaiah: 12:2-3, 5-6,
JOY AT THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we all celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ. On this day we recall the moment when Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth in the hill country of Judea, upon hearing how her elderly cousin had miraculously become pregnant with a child as told to her by the Archangel Gabriel.
In the occasion celebrated today, the essence of it is the joyful expectation of the coming of God’s salvation to His people, the fulfilment of His promise and the affirmation of His love for His people, after a long awaited period of expectation and waiting for the coming of the light of salvation to the world filled with suffering and darkness. The Lord revealed His salvation to all of His people not in glorious way, but through a humble woman coming to visit another elderly woman.
God fulfilled His promise in sending His Saviour, in the womb of this holy woman, a humble and unknown virgin from a small Galilean village of Nazareth, a most unlikely source of God’s salvation and work and yet, that was the reality of what had happened. God came into this world not as a mighty conqueror or a triumphant King, but rather, as a humble Child born by a humble and simple woman from humble and unknown origins.
Ultimately, in the end, this proves a very important point that God did not do His works by human might, power and means, but by His own power and mysterious ways. And that was exactly how God worked His wonders and salvation to all of us. He has done everything He wanted to do, so that all of us might be saved and receive from Him the assurance of eternal life and glory.
In our Gospel passage today, we listened to the words of Mary, in a song she sang when filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. This song is known today as the Magnificat, a great song of praise and glorification, a song of great thanksgiving and submission to God. Mary essentially summarized all that God had done for each and every one of us, showing us His love and His faithfulness, that He will not abandon us even when we are in great need.
God has always been faithful to us, and He gave us everything we need, and the greatest of His many gifts is none other than the gift of His own Son, Our Lord Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour. And in the Visitation, it was symbolic of God coming into our midst, even when He was still in the womb of His mother Mary, and the response that St. John the Baptist, who was also in Elizabeth’s womb, should be the same response that we have as well.
St. John the Baptist, even as a baby, recognized his Lord and Master, and was so joyful, leaping with joy in his mother’s womb. This joy was the same joy that Mary felt and expressed in her song, in the great love and providence which God has given His people, in not leaving them behind in their fate and in the darkness of the world. The Lord Who loves and provides has become the source of all of our joy and happiness.
Unfortunately, in our world today, many of us cannot recognize God’s presence and His love for us. We tend to seek those who give us worldly joy and happiness, seeking comfort in money, power, human praise, glorification and pleasures of the flesh, that distract us from being able to recognize God being present in our midst and in our lives. Are we then able to resist these temptations of the false and temporary, worldly joys, and instead seek the true comfort of God?
Dear Christians, let us all be firm in our faith and in our hope, knowing that God is always watching over us and protecting us, providing us with all that we need. Let us all strive to be ever more committed and draw ever closer to the Lord, from now on, with a new commitment and courage. Don’t lose your joy, no matter what.Let nothing and no one rob you of your joybut instead replenish your joy from the same fountain that Mary replenished hers; the God who not only loves us but the God who is love.
May God bless you and keep you always in his love.