Sunday, July 2nd,
This Sunday is the 4th Sunday after Pentecost.
And being July 2nd, it is also the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Each time we say the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, we recall on the second joyful mystery, the Visitation.
Our Blessed Lady, having heard from the angel that her cousin St. Elizabeth was soon to give birth to a son, hastened to congratulate her on her approaching happiness and to assist her by companionship and practical aid during such a period of anxiety, and prolonging her visit until after the birth of the child, who was no other than the great St. John the Baptist.
As soon as Mary arrived, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, cried out with a loud voice and said: " Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is it to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?!"
The answer of Mary was that sublime canticle of the Magnificat, in which she extolled the goodness of God to herself, to the chosen people, and to all mankind, in selecting her to be the mother of the Redeemer.
Having gently and lovingly discharged for her holy cousin all her offices of kindness, Our Blessed Lady returned to her own house, to continue the discharge of those humble duties which fell to her lot as the spouse of the poor carpenter of Nazareth.
In doing so, Mary is giving us a lesson not only of charity but also of humility. Do we realize what it means finding Mary, both before and after the Visitation, leading a poor and obscure life as the wife of a humble carpenter in the despised village of Nazareth?
Mary was of royal descent, highly educated and accomplished, yet she was now engaged in daily occupations which would naturally be most uncongenial to one of her descent, education, talents and former enlightened and refine sphere of activity.
Yet Mary never complained of her present condition, but accepted all from God with pleasure and content, never expecting divine intervention to supply her with more appropriate means of living, even after it had already been so miraculously manifested in raising her to the exalted dignity of Virgin Mother of God.
Another degree of humility here exhibited by Mary is that degree of humility consisting in referring all honor of our gifts and good deeds to Almighty God, saying with the Psalmist: " Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give glory." ( Ps. 113,1).
Answering the exalting congratulations of St. Elizabeth, Mary, in her Magnificat, gave glory to God as the sole Author of her dignity, greatness and privileges and assigned her own unworthiness as a reason for them.
If only the world could possess a portion of this spirit of Mary. How differently it would regard the dignity of honest labor and unite all mankind in one universal brotherhood of mutual love and esteem! How it would despise its so-called society with its various imaginary hues and shades, its empty honors, dignities, privileges, and ceremonies; and acknowledge its tears and bitterness to be but the natural and just result of its pride, foolishness, variety and ambition.
My dear people, in a few minutes we will become one with the Living God in true Holy Communion, the most precious gift one can receive on this earth. We know that all other graces come to us through the hands of Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces. The best way to honor Her and secure for ourselves Her continuous protection is to try and imitate Her virtues. Let us follow Mary's charity and humility which is the foundation and test of a true and solid Christian life.