The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Zephaniah 3:14-18a; Luke 1:39-56)
Some parents say that they do not wish to baptize their children because Baptism would prejudice the way their children look at the world. Echoing the thought, young people claim to suspend their belief so that they might experience the world in new ways. The serious believer, however, knows that these stratagems actually put one at a definite disadvantage, like not getting eyeglasses when one is noticeably near-sighted. The gospel portrays Mary as eminently believing and therefore able to foresee the blessings that God will accomplish in Jesus.
Mary visits Elizabeth not to test what the angel told her but because she believes that it is true. Elizabeth herself recognizes this faith when she exclaims to Mary, “Blessed are you who believed what was spoken to you by the Lord…” Then Mary voices her famous song praising God for what will be accomplished in Jesus – remembering His promise of mercy and filling the hungry with good things.
Dazzled by the products of science and technology, some see faith as increasingly heavier baggage. They want it all – the surety of faith and the autonomy of not committing themselves to any worldview. Some even try to rationalize the question positing that they do not have the gift of faith. But they likely do have faith. God has offered it to most of us if not through our parents then through blessed companions all the way. Rather than try to put it on hold, we would rationally allow it, as Mary does in the gospel, to bring us unmerited rewards.