Homily for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (3)

Homily for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Theme: The Power of a Visit.

By: Fr. Evaristus Abu


Homily for Friday, May 31 2019

Friday 31st May, 2019. Read Zephaniah 3:14-18, Isaiah 12:1-3 and Luke 1:39-56

“In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” (Luke 1:39)

In a world like ours where social media connects us so powerfully to millions of people yet leaves us empty inside, today’s feast may just be considered therapeutic. Indeed, there is no way we can overemphasize the importance of physical visits especially to those really in need.

Mary’s visit to Elizabeth was simply put, the best gift Elizabeth needed at that point in time. Mind you, Elizabeth was an object of mockery due to her childlessness. Her nickname was “the barren woman.”

How often do I visit those who are the object of scorn and mockery in my neighbourhood? When I hear something about a friend of mine, do I summon the courage to go and visit them or do I gladly partake in name-calling, gossip and character assassination?

Apart from her poor social reputation, Elizabeth had another downside; she was advanced in age. In truth, the human society has never been fair to the old. Those who have children are even lucky since their children come around from time to time. The wealthier ones employ house-helps to live with their aged parents. But what happens to those in the shoes of Elizabeth? Old and childless?

Has it ever occurred to you the magnitude of sufferings endured by old people who are childless? When last did you pay a visit to an Old People’s Home? We may not have money to give but our very presence and friendship mean the whole world to them. In my observation, old people just need someone to listen to their stories, even when they keep repeating the same dry stories over and over again. It gives them great joy to know that you are listening, nodding, smiling and praising.

The third issue with Elizabeth was that she was now pregnant. For someone who was always alone, Elizabeth needed someone around to help out. This is where Mary comes in, as soon as she heard about Elizabeth’s condition, she left everything else behind and ran all the way to help out. Mary did not consider the fact that she had just become the Mother of God. She ran to become a servant to Elizabeth and she remained with her three months until she gave birth to John the Baptist.

Dear friends, as we celebrate the Visitation of Mary today, we too are called to develop the habit of visiting others, not simply our friends but those in need of help. When you never reach out to help, you always assume your problems are the greatest in the world but in truth, everyone has a cross to carry. And the secret of life is this: when you help someone carry his cross, yours become lighter. If you think life is hard, look around you and you will see those dreaming to be given twice of your problems in exchange for theirs. Be like Mary, reach out, visit, help, don’t be self-centred.

Mary sang the Magnificat when she got to the house of Elizabeth. This Magnificat is a song similar to that of Hannah when she gave birth to Samuel after being childless for some time. The Magnificat is a song that teaches us to regard ourselves as nothing before God, a song that condemns pride and shows God’s preferential care for the hungry and despised.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, touch my heart to act like Mary who visited Elizabeth and brought joy to her home. May I be a carrier of joy wherever I go. Amen.

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (Feast of the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bible Study: Zephaniah 3:14-18, Psalm {Isaiah 12:1-3} and Luke 1:39-56).*

Fr. Abu.

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