I’ve been blown away recently by two key items I’d overlooked with reading or meditating on the Visitation, the moment when Mary and Elizabeth meet and John the Baptist jumps in his mother’s womb.
1) Mary, as the Mother of God — Catholics are often criticized for giving Mary the title Mother of God. It seems other Christians want to see her as only the mother of Jesus. Of course, logically, this is incorrect. Jesus is BOTH fully human and fully God. You can’t separate the two, so if Jesus is God and Mary is the Mother of Jesus, then Mary is the Mother of God.
But, here’s more proof… Did you ever notice that Elizabeth, whom the Bible says is filled with the Holy Spirit, calls Mary the “mother of our Lord” (Luke 1:41-43)? Sure, you could say that she really is referring to Jesus, who is also called Lord (but let us remember that we cannot separate the Holy Trinity, so that is referring to God, as well). But in the entire passage of Elizabeth’s statements to Mary, she is referring to God the Father. Right there, the Holy Spirit declares Mary the “Mother of God.”
2) Mary as the NEW Ark of the Covenant — Here’s another doozy that really blew my mind when I read it in Denise Bossert’s “Gifts of the Visitation” (Ave Maria Press, 2015). Catholics also call Mary the new Ark of the Covenant, because just as the old Ark of the Covenant carries God, so does Mary with Jesus in her womb. BUT, Bossert points out that there is an Old Testament verse that prefigures the Visitation, which speaks to this even further.
In 2 Samuel 6 (you MUST go read this!), David asks “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” and then is described as dancing and jumping before the Ark. In the Visitation verses in Luke, Elizabeth says, “And how does this happen to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43) and John the Baptist “leaps” in his mother’s womb. Does that not show Mary as the new Ark of the Covenant? Amazing stuff!
Had you ever thought about these things? Please share your thoughts!