December 19, 2021
“But who am I, that the Mother of My Lord should come to Me.” At the Visitation, Mary brings Jesus to Elizabeth. She continues bringing Him to us today.
- There is no other angelic greeting in Scripture that is comparable to “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you.” The Church has realized it’s a sign of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
- Mystery of Mary: In her Immaculate Conception, she is completely transparent to the Lord. There is nothing in her that is not of God and she is the one who always brings Jesus to us.
- One of the greatest graces of the Church, inspired y the Hoy Spirit, is to sense the deep mystery of our Blessed Mother. Examples are the saints who are able to read more deeply into the Scriptures.
- After the Annunciation, Mary being inspired by the Holy Spirit, set off to be a service to Elizabeth and share Jesus.
- Throughout the whole history of the Church, Mary continues through visitations to bring Jesus to us and join Jesus to us.
- We don’t have to be saints to ask Mary to help us in tough times. The more we invite her in, the more she can act powerfully in our life.
One of the great graces of the Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is to sense this mystery of our Blessed Mother. The Visitation of Mary is helping awaken us to a mystery of Mary.
We can invite her and realize that she is also coming to us and bringing us deeper and deeper into a communion with Jesus because that’s all that Mary wants is to unite us with her son.
Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit exclaimed, why is this granted to me? That my Lord should come to me? Why is this granted to me that my Lord should come to me? That’s not exactly what she said that there’s something missing there. She didn’t say, why is this granted that my Lord should come to me? She said, “Why is this granted that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” And when you think about that kind of shocking, because this is the Holy Spirit speaking through Elizabeth. And the focus is not on the Lord. But it’s a focus on the mother of the Lord. Why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me. And again, it’s important because this is the Holy Spirit, speaking, not just Elizabeth herself, and certainly the Holy Spirit. And Elizabeth now, because of the Holy Spirit, is aware that Mary is carrying her Lord. So, it’s above all about the Lord. But Elizabeth is also inspired by the Holy Spirit, putting in focus, like shining a spotlight on the mother of the Lord, drawing attention to Mary. And in fact, we just heard again, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth, praying, praising the Lord, “blessed is the fruit of your womb,” but also praising Mary, “blessed, are you among women, blessed is the fruit of your womb”, but also blessed, are you and the angel himself, the angel Gabriel, at the Annunciation, just a few days earlier, had said, “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you”. There’s no other greeting, in Scripture, angelic greeting, that is comparable to that greeting. And the Church has realized it’s a sign of her Immaculate Conception, full of grace. And it’s important to highlight this because there’s a lot of people, especially our protestant brothers and sisters, who are concerned that we are too focused on Mary, that we honor Mary too much. And they are concerned that this is taking away from Jesus. And certainly, we shouldn’t put anybody, our Blessed Mother, anybody above Jesus, Jesus is above all. And it would be false to put anyone above Jesus. And so, it’s a good concern to be concerned that any creature be placed above Jesus. Each creature can be since God is created each one of us, each person can be like, we could say, a mirror of God, or excuse me, like a window that permits us to see something of God. But a lot of times those windows are full of junk. And so, it obscures or distorts the image of God, because of all the junk on the window, if the window is so dirty, you can barely see through it. And sometimes creatures are like that, sometimes we persons are like that. And then there are some persons who are much cleaner. So that that the image of God is much clearer. But Mary is the only creature who has like a window that is completely spotless, so that when you look through the window, the window is so clean that you don’t see the window at all. All you see is the Lord coming through the window, the light and beauty of the Lord coming through the window. Mary, in her Immaculate Conception is completely transparent to the Lord. There is nothing in her that is not of God. And so, she is the one who was always bringing us Jesus. So, this is just one passage, but there’s a number of other passages in Scripture, which highlight the mystery of Mary, the mystery and I emphasize that, the mystery of Mary. Sometimes listening to some people talk about Mary, it was if she is what you’re kind of like when you get a package, a package delivered to your home. So, there’s the box and you usually just throw the box out. The box was just a transport. And sometimes it’s as if Mary is presented as simply she’s just to transport Jesus, but she is of no importance afterwards. But there’s so many signs, clear signs in Scripture, that Mary is so much more that there is a whole mystery of Mary. And that’s why it’s those who are able to understand the deep meaning of Scripture, because there’s some things which are said very clearly in Scripture. And other things which remain a little bit more hidden. As if that would require a more attentive listening, and more attentive reading. Like to give you an example, say, like one person is writing a letter, people don’t write many letters anymore, but writing a letter to a very good friend. And the friend can understand that letter, in a way kind of read between the lines in a way that someone who didn’t know the person couldn’t understand. And that’s why the saints, the saints, inspired by the Holy Spirit, are able to read more deeply into Scripture, and have sensed this deep mystery of Mary. And I think that’s been one of the great graces of the Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is to sense this mystery of our Blessed Mother. And so that’s the first point in this passage of the visitation I wanted to highlight today, that it’s helping awaken us to a mystery of Mary. That is, there’s more beyond than what a superficial reading might reveal. And some of this, some of the saints in the Church that have delved very deeply had been led very deeply into this mystery of Mary. So that’s the first point, the mystery of Mary. But there’s a second point I wanted to highlight today. This is what’s happening right after the Annunciation. So, the Annunciation, which is the most sublime moment that humanity had ever experienced, the greatest mystical experience that anyone had ever experienced. When God became flesh, in our Blessed Mother. And so, what you’re going to do, after that, would have seemed to me normal, that she would experience so sublime, that she takes some time, take a lot of time, to just be by herself, and a time of contemplation, of such a mystical grace. You know, a lot of times we see on TV, that someone when they want to have a deep mystical experience, they go off the mountain in Tibet. Although Mary could have gone off to a mountain to be by herself, mountains are places to be alone, to be alone with God, or John the Baptist had gone off to the desert, she could have done something like that, or she could have even just stayed hidden in her home. But at the very moment of the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit says something to her, which inspires her what she should do. Instead of staying by herself, to contemplate this grace, she right away, sets off on a trip, a trip to go help out her relative. And so, after this greatest of mystical Graces what she does immediately afterwards, is she goes off, to serve, to be of service to her relative, to Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit. And so right away, right after receiving Jesus, right away, she goes off to serve. But she goes off also to share Jesus, not to keep Jesus, to keep this privilege for herself, but right away, to share Jesus, to bring Jesus as soon as she receives Him, she wants to share Him. And we see that happening here with Elizabeth, and not just Elizabeth but John the Baptist, is transformed by this experience of Mary bringing Jesus. So that’s beautiful, right, that’d be beautiful. Can you imagine being Elizabeth and having our Blessed Mother carrying the baby Jesus and her show up at your house? That would be pretty special, right? Pretty special Christmas gift. And it’s important to realize that because these visitations, this visit was just the first of her visitation. It wasn’t the last. It was just the very beginning of her visitations. And throughout the whole Church is full, the history of the Church is full of Mary continuing to visit, to bring Jesus. And now that she’s in heaven, she’s much freer to continue these visitations. And last week we were talking about a great example we have it right there in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, when she came to visit our continent, this new American continent, she came to bring Jesus to our continent. And there’s many signs that this image of Our Blessed Mother is an image of her carrying the child Jesus in her womb. And so, Jesus after nine months was born of our Blessed Mother, but He never left her heart and soul. He became, He was in her heart and soul, He became ever more present, more and more present. And so, Mary continues her visits of bringing Jesus to us, and joins us to Jesus. Because when she came to when she came by Our Lady of Guadalupe, she wanted a little house, a Teocalli, where she could draw people to Jesus, and it happened, millions and millions, still happening today, millions being drawn by her to Jesus. Again, I was mentioning last week I was at Monterey, when I was at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, seen how Mary still helps the great crowds which were coming, drawn by her to Jesus, joined by her to encounter Jesus. And in these times, that we’re living, in these very evil times, in many ways, it’s probably also the vision of the power of the devil, at least in this time that we’re living. But these times, especially beginning in, I think, was 1830, with the apparition in Paris of the Miraculous Metal, especially since that time, there’s been a great increase in a number of visits of our Blessed Mother and a number of apparitions, Marian apparitions, increasing her apparitions. And many in our time, many well known in our time, some not as well known, some more well known, continuing, her visits are continuing. And sometimes as I said, sometimes they’ll be apparitions. But even more commonly, it’s like an interior visit. And many of you have heard me talk about experience I had when I was a freshman at Notre Dame, which was when I was, it was my second semester there. I had an interior experience, which was really odd, it’s hard to describe, because it was like, somebody I sensed that somebody had showed up inside me. I’ve never had a visit like that someone suddenly being inside you. And I didn’t see anything or hear anything. But it was like an overwhelming love, overwhelming tenderness of this presence. And it was, it became really clear to me that this was, and there were some signs also that that was one of the things that happened the night before. But the night before this began was Notre Dame has at the Golden Dome at Notre Dame, and on top of this beautiful statue of our Blessed Mother. And she’s looking up, she’s looking up to heaven, and her hands are down like this, it the statute and practice of the Miracles Metal. And the stars, I remember that night, stars with a very clear a cold, March night, and the stars are real bright. Looked like heaven was right above her. And then it looked like she was extending her hands, interceding for all of us, then down below there, all the students. And so that the next day, I had this interior experience. And it didn’t happen all of a sudden, it happened over the course of a couple of days. But that it became it was even though I couldn’t see it, it was obvious to me that this was I could just know that this was our Blessed Mother. And the phrase that kept coming to me “but who am I that the mother of my God should come to me” and it was striking to me to find this phrase later on. I realized that that was the phrase in the visitation and then someone, a friend gave me a book called The Book of the Marian Movement of Priests, which is a priest who began receiving a lot of interior messages or locutions from our Blessed Mother and that was very helpful because that book also helped me understand what the times are going through. But also help Mary is very present in a colonist, your consecration to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. But so, for about six months, it was almost like God was hiding behind Mary. The protestants speak of having a personal encounter with Jesus. And for me, this was like a personal encounter with Mary. And again, it was like God was hiding behind her. And so, for about six months, almost all my attention was focused on her. And but it was obvious to me that this was God’s doing this, I wasn’t looking for this. I wasn’t praying for this. It was just, I was kind of praying for the Lord kind of because I wasn’t doing the very fervently but I was kind of praying to the Lord to show me what my vocation was and guide me. And then I think that was maybe just opening the door a little bit which permitted, which prepared this grace. But so, was sensing her coming, as I said, I wasn’t asking for this. So, it was just like, a grace that was given. And then after a while, it was like that she led me to a deeper relationship to Jesus and like, then she kind of faded more into the background, so my attention to be more on the Lord. But so, I just mentioned that as one example which was life changing for me, but was just one example of the many ways our Blessed Mother continues to visit her children. And we have here our retreats, the Encounter with Jesus Retreat, and a number of people during our encounter with Jesus retreats have shared with us how they’ve experienced Our Blessed Mother, how they’ve had an encounter with Mary, during the encounter with Jesus retreats. And so that this grace of the visitation in these words of Elizabeth “but who am I, that the mother of my Lord should come to me,” is, I think, something that our Lord wants to share with each one of us today. And is difficult time so we’re going to and so as we are getting it, you know, we have that expression in English, Merry Christmas. But we can understand that not just as M-e-r-r-y. Why? Because sometimes Christmas is not so merry right? Sometimes Christmas is hard. But it can be a M-a-r-y Christmas, a Mary Christmas, a Christmas with our Blessed Mother, asking her to help us live the graces the Lord wants to give us in this time. And so that’s something very simple and accessible and practical. We don’t have to be great saints or great mystics, to ask simply that the mother that the Lord has given to us, be with us to help us in these times that we’re going through. And it’s her joy. Mary is a respectful mother. She’s not an overbearing, domineering mother. She’s a very respectful mother. And so, she loves each one of us. But how much she can be present in our lives also depends to a great degree on how much we invite her, invite her to come in, to come into our lives. And so again, she loves all her children, even those who don’t turn to her. But the more we invite her in, the more she can act powerfully in our life. And so, this is an opportunity to invite Mary and invite her if we’ve already done it, to invite her again, to come into our own lives. And right now, as we prepare to receive our Lord in Holy Communion, we can invite her and realize that she is also coming to us and bringing us deeper and deeper into a communion with Jesus because that’s all that Mary wants is to unite us with her son. So that’s something again, that we can do during this Mass, invite her to come, invite her to bring the presence of Jesus to us and lead us to Jesus. And so that we also can say, with joy, and surprise, “but who am I, that the mother of my Lord should come to me.” Amen