by Denise Bossert
A young virgin lowered her head in humility and gave her fiat to God’s archangel, whose message would change her life and the course of history forever.
On March 25th, we celebrate it, the Feast of the Annunciation. In that moment, Old Covenant gave way to New Covenant. Mary became God’s game changer, his pièce de résistance.
In the days that followed the Annunciation, Mary sensed that many things were changing. God had called her to the vocation of motherhood—the Motherhood for which all creation longed to see. God was also calling this young woman to leave the comfort zone of her Nazareth home and share the good news with her relative Elizabeth. This was no small thing. It was the first step in her lifelong journey of sharing Jesus Christ with the world.
She walked through the door of her home and began the eighty-mile journey from Nazareth to Elizabeth’s home in Ein Kerem.
Yes, the season had changed. The young girl had become the Mother of God. Even now, the little life was growing inside her, a life barely the size of a mustard seed.
The hope of Israel. The hope of the world.
And Mary was ready to share the Promised Son with the one person she knew would receive Him with joy and gratitude, her relative Elizabeth.
We are experiencing a change right now. The Liturgical Seasons are changing, reflecting and mirroring what happened so long ago. Lent will give way to Easter. Death to Life. The emptying of ourselves, our smallness, our childish ways—it is all preparing a way for God to come to us. The old is passing away. The new is coming.
On Easter Morning, the risen Messiah will break through our world and come to us. But that is not where it ends. We will bow and give our yes to God once again as we renew our baptismal vows.
Just as the apostles hurried to spread the news that the Lord had risen; just as they went into the world to announce the evangelium, the good news of the Gospel; just as the Blessed Mother traveled on her own two feet through the Jordan River Valley and the hills of Judea to share the good news for the sheer joy of it all before anyone else knew what was happening; we must take up the call to share this Lord with another person.
We must share it with our closest relatives, in our workplaces, in our communities and in the public square.
Jesus Christ comes to us, and we are pregnant with the Truth of it all. A Truth that demands expression. Our feet start itching to find our own path through the hills and valleys of our world.
We know an Elizabeth who is longing to receive the good news.
Yes, this season is changing, and we are preparing our hearts for that change.
You have been prepared for your own annunciation. Purged, emptied, made ready for the risen Lord to fill you—and send you out to share the One you have received.
Does it excite you a little that you are “pregnant” with Christ’s message? Then turn your eyes to Mary and get ready to bear Christ to another. Mary whispers to us, Come and learn from me. Watch me. Feel what I feel. Desire what I desire. Risk everything as I risk everything. Share Jesus Christ as if it’s what you were born to do—because it is what you were born to do.
In the deepest part of the Christian soul, we know that the Visitation is the blueprint for sharing the Gospel message.
There were nine gifts of grace present at the Visitation that made the sharing possible. And if we welcome God into our relationships as Mary and Elizabeth did, we will have access to these same gifts. We will have everything we need to give birth to Jesus Christ in our world.
The Visitation gives us a glimpse into what it means to activate those gifts in such a way that we can share and bear Christ to the world today.
Lent is meant to prepare us to encounter the risen Lord, but it was not meant to end there.
So turn your eyes upon Mary and Elizabeth at the Visitation. Consider the babies that were present in their midst. Meditate on the calling they had received—which you have received.
And go share Him with someone today.
Denise Bossert is a speaker, columnist, and Catholic convert. Her book Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and Elizabeth (Ave Maria Press, 2014) is currently featured in the Patheos Book Club. You can find her at DeniseBossert.com