The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Zephaniah 3:14-18a; Luke 1:39-56)
The sportswriters were frustrated. They wanted the star athlete to talk about himself, but he continually deferred to others. His teammates’ play allowed him to stand out. His family’s support was instrumental in making him who he was. The dialogue resembled, in a way, Mary’s speech in the gospel today.
In visiting her kinswoman, Mary is given a supreme compliment. Elizabeth calls her the “most blessed …among woman” for bearing Jesus inside her womb. At this point one would expect Mary to return the compliment. Alternatively, she might explain her feelings in being given such an honor. But her eyes are fixed on God. She does not speak of her own virtue or anyone else’s. Instead, she gives all the credit to the Lord. He “has looked with favor on his lowly servant.” He “has done great things” for her. He always “has mercy on those who fear him.”
Most of us enjoy talking about our achievements so much that we slip into vanity. Mary, the model disciple, reminds us that God is the source of every good deed we do. To sing His praises, not our own, is our role as agents in the new evangelization.