Devotional thoughts for Sunday of St. Mary's trip to Elizabeth
- Devotional thoughts for Sunday of St. Mary's trip to Elizabeth 02 -12- 07
Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Luke 1: 39-56
Dear and Respected Brethren,
When St. Mary went in haste to the residence of Priest Zechariah and Elizabeth and saluted Elizabeth, the baby in the womb of Elizabeth leaped in joy and Elizabeth got filled with the Holy Spirit. This is what is told in the beginning verses of today's reading, especially in verses 39 to 41. These verses are quite significant as they could vouch for the teaching of the Orthodox faith since those days. The leaping of St. John the Baptist from the womb of his mother is very clear and strong evidence that infants could realize Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit as well as saints especially St. Mary, Mother of God. St. John the Baptist leaped while being in his mother's womb because at the very moment he recognized Lord Jesus, the savior of the entire mankind and the universe, His blessed mother and the Holy Spirit, which dwelled in his mother. Elizabeth got the fullness of Holy Spirit only because of the presence of St. Mary there, carrying the Savior of the mankind in her womb. It is clear that St. Mary could not only uphold intercessions for us, but also through her presence she could speed up the indwelling of the Holy Spirit even. If it is so, what is wrong in seeking her continued intercessions? We must make sure that we are making use of her intercessions for the growth of our spirituality, other than utilizing the same for our worldly riches and gains.
In words 42-45 we read about the words of appreciations of Elizabeth about St. Mary. In verse 43 Elizabeth asks "From where is this to me that the mother of the Lord should come to me". Elizabeth got the unique blessing to address our Savior as the Lord for the first time, especially much prior to His blessed incarnation. It is a God given opportunity and blessing. Beyond that she doubtlessly addressed St. Mary as the Mother of God for the first time. That was also many days prior to the incarnation of Lord Jesus. It is a blessing to realize our Lord as Lord and God. Elizabeth got these rare blessings as she got the full and abundant supply of the Holy Spirit. We all have received the Holy Spirit in our lives through the baptism as well as the Holy Chrism. And still are we in a position to recognize our Lord and Savior, though we get a number of blessings every second? We must seriously think about the occasions missed by us. We have to try earnestly to identify and to recognize our Lord God, as and when we face Him. In verse 45 we read her saying that blessed is she that believed. How is our belief? Could we believe in God as our Saints and others believed in Him? Let us make sure that we could also believe in God as our forefathers and Saints believed in God.
We could witness St. Mary's staunch and strong faith in the following lines from verses 46-55. This small portion of the Holy Scripture is known as the hymn of St. Mary, the blessed Mother of God. She starts the song "my soul does magnify the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior". In 1 Samuel 2: 1 we could find a similar song of praise from Hannah. We are often reminded by the Holy Church to rejoice in God. But are we able to rejoice? Where lies the hindrance? We often try to rejoice in the human way of rejoicing. We are either ignorant about the spiritual rejoicing or we do not take it seriously. What ever be the reason, let us make a decision to rejoice in our spirit. Let us realize our Lord God and rejoice in him in our spirit. We are supposed to worship God in Spirit and Truth.
In verse 48 St. Mary says He has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, from hereafter all generations shall call me blessed. In fact St. Mary was repeating the words of the Angel, who annunciated her. Let us think what would have been our response, if we were in the place of St. Mary. Definitely we would have argued about our own greatness to get the blessing. Let us learn how to be humble and moderate. Let us not forget how to respond to God's mercies and blessings. Kindly read the verse 51 and meditate on the strong right hand of Lord God. Kindly read Psalms 98:1, 118:15 and Isaiah 40: 10 and enjoy the happy victory of His right strong hand.
Let us seek the continued intercession of St. Mary, Mother of God wisely and aptly. Let us also believe that our Lord God will be merciful to us also as He had been to our forefathers like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Let the intercession of Priest Zechariah and Elizabeth be also a fort of protection and blessing for us.
May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril