FEATURES OF MARY
The visit of Mary with Elizabeth allows the Evangelist Luke to put the Baptist in contact with Jesus, even before they were born. The scene is charged with a very special atmosphere. The two women are going to be mothers. They both have been called to collaborate in God’s plan. There are no men around. Zachariah has remained mute. Joseph is surprisingly absent. The two women occupy the whole scene.
Mary, who has arrived in a hurry from Nazareth, becomes the central figure. Everything turns around her and her Son. Her image shines with some features that are more genuine than many others have added to her throughout the centuries based on invocations and titles far removed from the Gospels.
Mary, «the mother of my lord»
Thus proclaims Elizabeth loudly and full of the Holy Spirit. It’s true: for Jesus followers, Mary is above all the Mother of our Lord. From there stems her whole greatness. The early Christians never separated Mary from Jesus. They’re inseparable. «Of all women you are blessed by God», she offers Jesus to us, «the blessed fruit of your womb».
Mary, the believer
Elizabeth declares her happy because she «has believed». Mary is great not simply for her biological maternity, but because she has faithfully welcomed God’s call to be Mother of the Savior. She has known to listen to God; she has kept God’s Word within her heart; she has meditated on it; she has put it into practice, faithfully fulfilling her vocation. Mary is believing Mother.
Mary, the evangelizer
Mary offers everyone God’s salvation that she has welcomed in God’s own Son. That is her great mission and her service. According to the story, Mary evangelizes not only with her gestures and words, but because wherever she goes she carries with her the person of Jesus and his Spirit. This is what’s essential in the evangelizing act.
Mary, bringer of joy
Mary’s greeting communicates the joy that springs from her Son Jesus. She has been the first to listen to God’s invitation: «Rejoice…the Lord is with you». Now, from an attitude of service and of help to those who need it, Mary radiates the Good News of Jesus, the Christ, which she always carries with her. She is for the Church the best model of a joyful evangelization.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf