Peace and all good!
The Gospel proclaimed in today’s feast narrates of the visitation of the Blessed Mother to her cousin Elizabeth who was on the sixth month of her pregnancy (Luke 1:39-56). This event happened immediately when Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel announcing to her the birth of her Son. Mary did not hesitate in bringing the great joy of the WORD INCARNATE to her cousin and her husband. She did not keep only for herself the joy of the Good News but shared it to others who had not fully realized the grace bestowed upon them at that “designated time.” Zechariah remained incredulous and reluctant in accepting his fatherhood and that is why he became mute. Elizabeth likewise was “ashamed” of her pregnancy and that is why she chose to be in seclusion for the first 5 months of her pregnancy (Luke 1:24). It took the WORD INCARNATE brought by Blessed Mary to bring the two to the realization that they are indeed blessed by God! And so at the sound of Mary’s WORD, John in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy, Elizabeth was drawn out of her hiding and Zechariah soon would praise the God of Israel.
As a Province under Mary’s patronage, it is also our mission to carry the WORD and share it with others. Not only in our words but more so in our attitude and deeds. Let us, like Mary be witnesses to the joy of the Gospel! Let us be instruments like Mary that others may realize the blessedness they have being bathed with in God’s grace. Let us draw others from out of their shame, seclusion and fear, encouraging and inspiring them to proclaim in their lives the joy of being called to the discipleship of our Lord Jesus!
With all of these, however, let us remain humble like Mary, the handmaiden of the Lord.
I warmly greet you all a blessed and joyful feast of our patron, Our Lady of Lourdes!
Mabuhay ang Mahal na Birhen ng Lourdes!
Br. Eugenio Juanilo P. Lopez, OFMCap,