A Homily for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
May 31, 2024
Prince of Peace Catholic Church – 8:00 Mass
Zephaniah 3:14-18a; Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6; Luke 1:39-56

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The beautiful Feast of the Visitation we celebrate today depicts two miraculous pregnancies. One came about in our Blessed Mother by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. The other was the miraculous conception in the womb of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, who was advanced in years.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce that God had chosen her to bear His only begotten Son, she didn’t understand how this could possibly happen. After all, she had not had relations with a man. But, she TRUSTED God and believed that all things are possible if it is His will that they happen. As a result of her absolute faith in the power and goodness of God, she conceived the Christ child in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Filled with the Holy Spirit, what does Mary do next? Does she wait around home, preparing a room for her child? Perhaps painting the room blue, knowing it was a boy she had conceived? Does she go shopping for maternity clothes? No, she acts immediately upon the information she was given by the angel Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth was also pregnant. Today’s Gospel reading tells us:

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

Mary set out in HASTE to share the Good News with her cousin and to help Elizabeth prepare for the coming of her child. While Mary certainly took some time to ponder all that had just happened to her, she was moved to ACTION after being filled with the Spirit. She considered Elizabeth’s needs over her own. She traveled a long distance, about 90 miles over several days, to be with her cousin for the last few months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.

One lesson we can learn from today’s feast is that we, too, must TRUST God and then ACT upon his urgings if we are to experience true joy.

Joy is much more than an emotion. It is spiritual in nature. It is not only an experience of happiness, it’s the experience of realizing the action of God in our lives. Seeing God at work in wonderful ways leads to gratitude and rejoicing. This joy produces a strength and energy that is contagious and uplifting.

If we find that we lack joy in life, then consider where we allow our mind to wander throughout the day. Do we dwell on the past, on hurts, on problems and the like? If so, these thoughts will undoubtedly lead to depression and possibly even despair. Try to turn your mind to the action of God in your life. See the many blessings you have been given and give thanks for them. Then consider how you might put them in service of others.

Reflect, today, upon the witness of joy that Mary and Elizabeth give us. Like Mary, after reflecting on and giving thanks for her many blessings, consider the needs of others and make haste to do what you can to help meet those needs.

Our faith is a faith of ACTION. We must share it with others, it must move us to help others. Don’t keep your gifts for yourself, but share them with those who need them. By doing so you will surely experience the joy of the Lord, the joy of true love.