Love does not take a delayed approach to the needs of others, but rather “hastens” to bring whatever help is possible. The deeper the love, the less concern one has about calculations or comfort or capacity; true and deep love is quick to bring all it can to the heart of the situation.

Mary goes “in haste” to help her older relative, Elizabeth, who was with child. Within her, Mary carried the very Son of God, the Savior of the world; we can imagine her joyfully considering God’s mercies and the fulfillment of His Promise, as well as her unceasing prayers to the Most High as she walked along the way. She must have considered the long history of salvation and the many glimpses of the coming of the Savior in the Old Testament, leading to this very moment. The Messiah has come, so small that others do not yet notice.

But like a living tabernacle, her presence radiated the presence of Christ, and upon arriving, a profound event occurred – Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and her unborn child, St. John the Baptist, DID notice and leaped in her womb. He was created to announce the Christ, and he affirms His presence without a word! It was a marvelous shared moment of affirmation and recognition of God’s Work of Salvation, beginning here under the hearts of these two humble women, as Elizabeth cries out that Mary is “most blessed…and blessed is the fruit of your womb…Blessed are you who believed.”

And Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s praise echoes through the ages in the prayer that the Church recites together each evening – the Magnificat. She sees clearly through the lens of faith and love that wonderful things are happening and that they are all God’s holy work, due to no merit of her own. Her soul magnifies the Lord and her spirit rejoices in God, in profound humility and surrender. She directs all glory to God, acknowledging that it is His power and mercy working through her.

Mary, drawing from the Old Testament, reminds us that He scatters the proud in their conceit, He casts down the mighty from their thrones, He sends the rich away empty; but He has mercy on those who fear Him, He lifts up the lowly, fills the hungry with good things, and remembers His promise of mercy. We, too, are called to humility and surrender in the Truth of God’s faithfulness and love, so that we can carry Christ and His love and grace within us and bring His light to every darkened place. We are challenged to echo Mary’s Magnificat in our lives, and to set out in haste and humility to meet others in their need, bearing first and foremost the light and love of Christ.

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