Today’s rosary meditation is the Second Joyful Mystery — The Visitation. After accepting God’s will in the Annunciation, Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. This mystery is one of the best examples of using God’s grace to help others. As the Mother of God, Mary chose to use God’s grace to serve others and not to be served. This is a theme seen in Jesus’ ministry as well as the lives of the saints.
Today’s rosary meditation is the Second Joyful Mystery — The Visitation. After accepting God’s will in the Annunciation, Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. Mary came with this message, “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior. For He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed” (Lk 1:46-48, emphasis mine). She stayed with Elizabeth for three months presumably offering a helping hand whenever needed.
This mystery is one of the best examples of using God’s grace to help others. Keep in mind that traveling to see relatives in the time of the Roman Empire was no easy task. It would take weeks, if not months, to travel between villages. Traveling was a challenge and dangerous for the very strong let alone a pregnant teenager. Despite the hardship, Mary made the journey in order to share the good news with her cousin and help in any way she could. As the Mother of God she chose to use God’s grace to serve others and not to be served. As she said in Luke’s Gospel, God’s greatness is found in His lowly servants doing His will, not those who try to be masters. We see this same theme through Jesus who is King of Heaven and yet came into this world as a humble servant.
When I meditate on this mystery I’m often reminded about the difference between acquiring God’s grace and using it. I know that prayer, fasting, and receiving the Sacraments (particularly washing away sin during Confession) all help me achieve God’s grace. However, I often fail in using grace to help others in need. I could help others more whether it be donating some of my time for charitable causes to just making myself available when friends or family need me. I’m sure I miss great opportunities to actually put my faith into practice all the time. Ask yourself, are you using all of your God-given gifts to their full potential? Are you choosing to serve others as Mary did or are you expecting to be served?
The lesson behind The Visitation is that God calls on us all to put our faith into action. Yes, our faith is something that is deeply personal. But it is also something that should be very public. God gives us grace not only for our own sake, but to also help others in their conversion towards God’s love and their ultimate salvation. I’m reminded of the saying, “actions speak louder than words.” Let us remember that about prayer. Let us not just pay lip service to God, but actually put into action what we believe. Prayer is good and necessary, but it is the foundation for good works and not an end in itself.
Today’s rosary meditation is the first Joyful Mystery — The Annunciation. This is when the angel Gabriel told Mary, a mere teenager, that she was to be the mother of God. Now think about that for a while. What would you do if you found out that God chose you to bring His son into this world? Would you run outside rejoicing as if you just won the lottery? Would you turn pale, pass out, and then hope that it was all just a dream? Would you calmly tell the angel Gabriel that you are not ready and there are others who will be a much better choice? I do not think becoming the Mother of God is something that any of us are exactly prepared for.
But God has only asked one person in the history of the world to be the mother of Jesus Christ so that is not something He will likely ask of us. When compared to our Mother Mary, God asks so little of us in comparison to her great responsibility. For many of us, just making it to Mass on time or taking a few minutes out of our day for prayer are responsibilities where we fall short.
Why are we not prepared for the times when God asks something of us? After all, He asks something of us every day. He asks us to be faithful, to follow His laws, and put Him first in our lives. God speaks to us every day through the Pope, the Church, our priests, the Bible, saints, angels, and others to follow Him and to do His will. Do we ignore all these messengers? How many times have you not followed His will only to plead ignorance that you just did not know or that it is just too hard? When He asks, do we tell Him that we do not think we are ready and He should ask us at a more convenient time? Or do we tell Him, “YES!”, only to follow another road besides the one He lays out for us? God asks us to follow Him more times than we think and we often tell Him “no” through our words, our thoughts, or our actions.
So let us recognize that God calls on us every day to follow Him. Let us imitate our mother, Mary, and tell him “Thy will be done.” Mary put her faith in God knowing that He never gives us more than we can handle. Let us put our faith in Him that His plan for us is the best path and the only true path to eternal happiness. Mary was made pure by the Holy Spirit to carry the heavy burden of bearing the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We are strengthened by the same Holy Spirit to accept God’s will in our own lives. With the Holy Spirit, the Church, and our Mother Mary as our guides we are more than prepared to follow His path. Let us pray that when God asks us to follow Him we can confidently say, “Thy will be done.”