Mary’s visit to Elizabeth allows the Gospel-writer Luke to put the Baptist and Jesus in contact even before they were born. The scene carries special force. Both women are going to be mothers. Both have been called to collaborate in God’s plan. No men are around. Zachariah is mute. Joseph is surprisingly absent. These two women fill the scene.
Mary, arriving hurriedly from Nazareth, takes center stage. Everything turns around her and her Son. Her image shines with features more genuine than many others that have been attributed to her later on through invocations and titles far from the climate of the Gospels.
- Mary, «the mother of my Lord». That’s how Elizabeth loudly greets her, full of the Holy Spirit. It’s true: for Jesus’ followers, Mary is above all the Mother of our Lord. This is the starting point of all greatness. The first Christians never separate Mary from Jesus. They’re inseparable. «Blessed by God among all women», she offers us Jesus, «blessed fruit of her womb».
- Mary, believer. Elizabeth declares her happy because «she has believed». Mary is great not just because of her biological motherhood, but because she welcomed with faith God’s call to be Mother of the Savior. She knew how to listen to God; she kept God’s word in her heart; she meditated on it; she put it into practice, faithfully fulfilling her vocation. Mary is believing Mother.
- Mary, evangelizer. Mary offers us all God’s salvation, that comes in God’s own Son. That is his grand mission and service. According to this story, Mary evangelizes not only with her gestures and words, but because where she goes, she carries within her the person of Jesus and his Spirit. This is what’s essential in any evangelizing act.
- Mary, bringer of joy. Mary’s greeting transmits the joy that springs forth from her Son Jesus. She has been the first one to hear God’s invitation: «Rejoice… the Lord is with you». Now, by means of an attitude of service and of help for those who need it, Mary spreads the Good News of Jesus, the Christ, to everyone she meets. She is the best model of a joyful evangelization for the Church.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf