Vessel of Divine Visitation
Meditation for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Zeph 3:14-18; Lk 1:39-56)
Today we celebrate the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth. Coincidentally, this feast marks the end of our May devotion to Mary. Among many other biblical encounters, why did the Church craft out this particular event and turned it into a celebration?
The visitation of Mary to the house of Zachariah is a landmark encounter in the history of human salvation. It was not a coincidence, but part of God’s plan, and an important event that shines out the hidden mystery of Christ. After the Angel Gabriel explained to Mary how the Incarnation would come about through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, he gave a practical example to show that with God all things are possible. The Angel said, “Your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month” (Lk 1:36). Mary gave her fiat, saying, “You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said.” As the Angel left, Mary set out quickly to visit Elizabeth.
This visitation became a landmark demonstration of God’s power to make the incarnation possible, the God who does what human mind cannot comprehend. In the visitation to Elizabeth, we see Mary’s fiat in action; an immediate and quick response to God, with whom all things are possible. And this response of faith demonstrates her humility. God’s mighty power shines out on His faithful and lowly servants.
Mary stepped into Zachariah’s house full of grace, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, and as mother of Jesus. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” We see how Mary became a VESSEL through whom the blessings God bestowed on her reached Elizabeth and the baby in her womb. This visitation became a special moment of encounter in which Elizabeth became the first to recognize Mary as the mother of God. And John the Baptist had a divine touch in the womb his mother.
The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth was a unique and special event that is worthy of celebration. We cannot forget nor allow such a great mystery of salvation to pass us by. It highlights the first response of humanity to the mystery of the Incarnation. We see here how God, who came to dwell among us, dissolves the graces of our salvation even through those who believe in the fulfilment of God’s promises.
Therefore, Mary steps in as Spiritual Vessel, Vessel of honor, singular vessel of devotion and vessel of joy! The echo of her Magnificat continues to resound in our hearts, and adorn our celebration today. Her visitation becomes an acclamation that God can do all things. He can exalt the lowly, fill the hungry with good things and show mercy to all generations forever. In our celebration, we recognize the special favor God has bestowed on Mary, and honor her. She said, “Henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” In this feast, we express our desire for divine visitation in our lives, families, nation, and the world at large. Therefore, let us continue to invoke Mary’s Perpetual Help, for she is that special Vessel through which we can have divine visitation. Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Immaculate Heart Parish
Iba New Town, Lagos.
Tuesday May 31st, 2022.
Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary