daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Thursday, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, May 31, 2012
Zeph. 3:14-18, Isa. 12:2-6, Luke 1:39-56

"He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty" (Luke 1:53).

Today we celebrate the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her kinswoman Elizabeth. God has already become incarnate in Mary's womb, and now she goes to share this joyful news with Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist. Mary rejoices today in her magnificat hymn, glorifying God for incarnating himself in her, his poor and humble servant.

God has incarnated himself in our flesh, in our humanity, by incarnating himself in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He did this to renew and divinize our humanity. His incarnation is the salvation of the human race. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, God incarnate, our humanity is renewed, redeemed and divinized by his incarnation, for through our faith in him Christ's divinity flows into our flesh, into our humanity, illuminating it from within. Moreover, the Eucharist divinizes us, because it is an extension of the incarnation. The body and blood of Christ, which contain his divinity, are sacramentalized for us in the form of bread and wine, which we eat and drink with faith. And so Christ enters powerfully into us and unites us with himself, thus uniting us with God, for the Father is in him and he is in the Father (John 10:38). Through the reception of the Eucharist Christ is also in us and we are in him (John 14:20), and so he unites us to God.

All this had already begun in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Christ with his divine person and divine nature was already in Mary's womb in his tiny human body. The beginning of our transformation and divinization is at work in her.

In this we see how God "exalted those of low degree" and "has filled the hungry with good things" (Luke 1:52-53). God blesses more those who renounce all for him (Matt. 19:29; Luke 18:29). Those who renounce their family, wife, father, mother, sisters, brothers, children, home, and lands for him will receive the hundredfold reward (Matt. 19:29). Those who lose their life for him will save it (Mark 8:35). The poor will be blessed (Matt. 5:3), for the rich have already had their reward (Luke 6:24; 16:25).

If we live for God alone, we will be more blessed, a hundred times more blessed (Matt. 19:29), for then we live in the most radical way for only one master (Matt. 6:24), having only one treasure (Matt. 6:19-21). Mary is an example of this. She consecrated her virginity to God (Luke 1:34) in order to serve him with a completely undivided heart (1 Cor. 7:32-34). Instead of seeking her happiness in the things of the world, she sought it only in God and in the fulfillment of his will; and she lived a life of simplicity and poverty, loving God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). And now she praises God for having done such great things in her, his lowly servant, who has nothing in this world except him. She is one of the poor of the Lord, the Anawim, who only have God in this world and so find all their joy only in him. In this way God "has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty" (Luke 1:53).

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