By AnnAliese Harry
“And why has this happened to me,
that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” ~ Luke 1:43
Today’s Gospel prompts us to focus on the beautiful, Joyful Mystery of “The Visitation.” As such, the fruit of that mystery is a desire for love of our neighbor.
What does love of neighbor look like? Mary shows us a prime example – making haste to her elderly cousin to help Elizabeth settle into the final months of her pregnancy and the first months of a baby. Furthermore, Mary helped while newly pregnant herself, carrying the Messiah. We don’t know if Mary experienced morning sickness. Still, without a doubt, she experienced some of the other natural adjustments to a new pregnancy, such as fatigue, as she traveled and then assisted Elizabeth.
All around us, there are people in need. Some people can be identified just by looking at them; their struggles are etched on their faces and can be spotted with the naked eye. Yet, others’ needs are etched on their hearts, only visible for a brief moment with a sharp glance of the eye in a rare unguarded moment.
Call to Action
Today’s Gospel is a call to action. It is a reminder that in the same manner as John the Baptist recognized the Messiah in the womb, so, too, are we called to recognize Christ in our neighbor.
Whether or not we are sick ourselves and whether we are one of those in need, what we see in the Gospel is a reminder that part of honoring Christ is looking beyond our own needs to recognize the needs of those around us.
Elizabeth graciously accepts Mary’s visit, reminding us also to accept the help that someone else offers us. Channel the strength of both the Blessed Mother and Elizabeth and warmly reach out to another person and accept help when it is offered to you.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the secular New Year, consider ways in which you can continue to give of yourself (and goods) and make a plan to give more in this next year. Next time someone offers to help you, graciously say yes.
Call to Action
Most Loving Father, thank You for the gifts You have given me of time, talent, and treasure. Help me to see You in those in need, give of my gifts, and accept the gifts of others. Amen.
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