Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed
God does unexpected and wonderful things! In this
simple, but rich passage we see two humble women who unexpectedly become
the vehicles for God’s greatest work---the redemption of the world.
First we have Elisabeth, who as an older childless woman discovers she is
to have a child who will be a forerunner of the promised Messiah. Then
we have Mary, cousin of Elisabeth, who as an unmarried girl, is visited by
an angel who announces that she will give birth to the savior of the world.
These are very unexpected circumstances and very unlikely figures to play
in God’s redemptive plan. Mary is compelled to visit Elisabeth
and as they meet, Elisabeth’s baby stirs in the womb, in anticipation of
his connection with the coming Messiah. The joy in the room was palpable
as Mary and Elisabeth rejoice in how God was working through them.
Mary breaks into song, reflecting the song of Hannah at the unexpected birth
of her child Samuel so many years before. This song has become one
of the church’s greatest hymns known as the Magnificat and declares the greatest
of God’s love and mercy toward His people. She is essentially saying
“I’m bursting with God-news---I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.”
Faith is our act in that it begins with the turning of a heart
desirously toward God. It is the quiet surrender of the self to the
spirit of God which then takes hold and brings to fulfillment in us the faith
which is His gift and which opens the way for all His continued giving.
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