CARRIERS OF JOY AND LOVE
????Zeph 3:14-18a; Isa 12:2-3, 4bcde, 5-6 (R.v.6b); Luke 1:39-56
The Prophet Zephaniah prophesied, “Shout for joy O daughter of Zion, sing joyfully… The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst” (Zeph 3:14ff). Mary was carrying this King of Israel in her womb and so became a source of joy to all who encountered her.
Today, the Catholic Church commemorates her visit to Elizabeth (cf. Luke 1:39-56) and we see her bringing this joy into the household of Zechariah that even the child in Elizabeth’s womb slept for joy. Mary is indeed blessed.
Note the similarities between Mary in that Gospel and the Ark of the Covenant of the ancient Israel. The way the child in the womb of Elizabeth lept for joy was the way David lept for joy as the Ark was being brought into the citadel of David (cf. 2 Sam 6:14-15).
Wait a minute! Are you among those who despise those who honour Mary for being the Mother of Jesus? Hmmm! Michal, Saul’s daughter was punished for doing the same thing to David when he danced in honour of the Ark of the Covenant when it was being brought into Jerusalem (cf. 2 Sam 6:16, 23). Just thinking aloud!
Ok! In addition to the above, just as the Ark was used as a weapon of liberation for the people of Israel, Mary would stand to see that those in trouble find help in Christ. That was the situation at the wedding feast at Cana (cf. John 2:1-11).
The list is endless and we could just continue endlessly. Yet, we must not overlook the important messages that Mary teaches us today by this visit: Humility and Hospitality. Even after the knowledge that she would be the Mother of God, she still went ahead to attend to Elizabeth’s needs.
How well do we use our position to bring joy to the hearts and homes of those in need? That is exactly what St. Paul calls on us to do in Rom 12:9-16b. In this Marian Year, the Church makes that lesson more pronounced with the story of Fatima.
May God give us the grace to emulate Mary in this great teaching she offers US, to be real agents of joy, love and peace. Amen.