“My Soul magnifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”
Reflecting on the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the little virgin from
Nazareth begins to grow overwhelmingly in our eyes. We see the obedience of
At the Annunciation, recognizing the Angel as a messenger of God, she
had said yes to bearing the Son of God. When the Angel Gabriel told her that
her cousin Elizabeth was with child, she trusted in his word knowing he was from
God. Because she, like the other people of Israel, had been preparing for the
Messiah, and had studied the Word, she knew the Lord would have wanted her to go
and serve her cousin; and so she obeyed, once more. As we walk through the rose
petals that make up the Rosary, we will encounter the many times Mary obeyed.
As we learn more about Jesus, we realize that His Life was our path to Heaven.
As you walk with Mary, you will discover she knows the way.
We see the selflessness of Mary in action. Her choice to be for her cousin
Elizabeth during her pregnancy shows an unconditional caring for others, that
we’ve only seen in One other Person in the history of the world, her Son Jesus.
But, there was something else. Although there was a familial bond between
Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, we believe there was another bond, which had
been molded in Heaven. The plan to have the Angel tell Mary of her cousin’s
pregnancy had to begin in Heaven. Can we not see God formulating His plan? The
son of Elizabeth would be the one who would herald the Messiah, the Son of Mary,
into the world.
Neither of these women should have been pregnant. Mary was a virgin; Elizabeth
was barren. There had to be a Heavenly connection between them. Is this
why the Angel told Mary about her cousin being “with child”? Did the Lord
want her to go and serve her cousin Elizabeth? Were she and Elizabeth part
of a particular plan of the Father’s? Had an Angel told Elizabeth, when she
conceived, that her child would be special, too? Were these things going
through Mary’s mind, as she proceeded on her appointed mission?
When we see statues or paintings of Mary, for the most part, they depict a very
delicate, almost Dresden-like Mary. And I am sure, she had all those qualities.
But Mother Mary was also strong! We will see, as we journey in faith with her
and her Son through the Rosary, how very strong she was. The trip from Nazareth
to Ein Karem, where Elizabeth and Zechariah lived, was long and dangerous. Mary
had to travel through the mountains of Judea, past Jerusalem. Today, it is a
challenge. In the time of Jesus and Mary, with dirt roads, cut out by people
traveling by donkey or by foot, it had to be hazardous for someone with child.
But Mary did not think, for one moment, about her comfort. The Angel had told
her of her cousin’s need and she said yes, one more time.
There was a radiance about Mary as she traveled to her cousin’s house. The
words of the Angel echoed in her soul:
“Do not fear, Mary. You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and
bear a Son and give Him the name Jesus…..He will rule over the house of Jacob
forever, and His reign will have no end….The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the Power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy offspring to
be born will be called Son of God.” (Luke 1:30)
Mary proceeded, in haste, to fulfill the Angel’s command, never once looking
back. The Angel had told her not to be afraid. And she trusted his message,
knowing it was from the Lord. Mary believed, the Lord would take care of her
and her unborn Child. She knew that the Child she was carrying had the special
protection of the Father’s “Heavenly Army of Angels.” What then was there to
Son of God! She couldn’t get these words out of her mind. Her senses reeled at
the thought. She was to be the mother of the Son of God. It was incredible!
She was carrying God inside her body. What would He be like? How would their
life together, be?
As soon as Elizabeth saw her, “the baby leapt in her womb. She was filled with
the Holy Spirit.” This was to fulfill the prophecy the Angel Gabriel gave to
“…and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb.”
Tradition tells us that, at this meeting with Jesus, while both were still in
their mothers’ wombs, John was freed from original sin. While he was conceived
with sin, we are told he was born without sin.
There was immediate recognition between the two unborn babies, John and
Jesus. A bond between the two children, conceived in Heaven before the dawn
of creation, was affirmed at this meeting, and further confirmed at the Jordan
River some thirty years later. Thus did Jesus say of John, “In truth I tell
you, of all the children born to women, there has never been anyone greater than
John the Baptist.”
A similar bond was forged between Mary and Elizabeth. The skies opened; the
brilliance of the Holy Spirit descended on both women. It was as if Mary and
Elizabeth were given total knowledge of God’s plan, through the movement of the
Spirit. Whatever had not been revealed to them before, suddenly became crystal
Elizabeth cried out in a loud voice:
“Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb. But who am I
that the mother of my Lord should come to me? The moment your greeting sounded
in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy. Blest is she who trusted that
the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.”
There is so much in this statement of Elizabeth’s. Scripture scholars tell us
that Elizabeth’s meaning in her first sentence was: “Blest are you among women”
because “blest is the Fruit of your womb”. With this declaration, Elizabeth
prophesied Mary’s future role in the world, and in the Church, that Mary would
be blessed among all women. It is true that Mary said yes to the Angel Gabriel.
But, it was by the Fruit of her womb, she was blessed among all women. Mother
Mary will tell you that, of herself, she is nothing. She always points to her
Son. She is the intercessor to her Son; she is not the One Who brings about
miracles, Who heals, Who forgives, Who gives us life. She points to her Son.
A priest once said, “What did Mother Mary do? She stood there and allowed the
Holy Spirit to fill her. And because of this, the world will never be the
same.” One name that our Mother appeared under, was “Our Lady of Hope”. She
is our Mother who turns to her Son Jesus, and through His love for her, we have
hope that He will give us another chance. Like Abraham and Moses, she is always
asking for another chance for her children, you and me.
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