Monday, May 31, 2010

FEAST OF THE VISITATION

In 2008 Pope Benedict gave a beautiful reflection on this feast. As we read it, let us “visit” one last time the Holy Father and his special prayer intentions for this month—victims and perpetrators of human trafficking, and all who work in service to the Church that they may have a missionary spirit that brings Christ to the people they serve just as Mary brought him to Elizabeth.

In today's Feast of the Visitation the liturgy has us listen again to Luke's Gospel passage that recounts Mary of Nazareth's journey to the home of her elderly cousin Elizabeth. Let us imagine the Virgin's state of mind after the Annunciation, when the Angel left her. Mary found herself with a great mystery enclosed within her womb; she knew something extraordinarily unique had happened; she was aware that the last chapter of salvation history in the world had begun. But everything around her remained as before and the village of Nazareth was completely unaware of what had happened to her.

Before worrying about herself, Mary instead thought about elderly Elizabeth, who she knew was well on in her pregnancy and, moved by the mystery of love that she had just welcomed within herself, she set out "in haste" to go to offer Elizabeth her help. This is the simple and sublime greatness of Mary! When she reaches Elizabeth's house, an event takes place that no artist could ever portray with the beauty and the intensity with which it took place. The interior light of the Holy Spirit enfolds their persons.

Going beyond the surface, Mary "sees" the work of God in history with the eyes of faith. This is why she is blessed, because she believed. By faith, in fact, she accepted the Word of the Lord and conceived the Incarnate Word. Her faith has shown her that the thrones of the powerful of this world are all temporary, while God's throne is the only rock that does not change or fall. Dear brothers and sisters, let us … bring the same sentiments of praise and thanksgiving of Mary to the Lord, her faith and her hope, her docile abandonment in the hands of Divine Providence. May we imitate her example of readiness and generosity in the service of our brethren. Indeed, only by accepting God's love and making of our existence a selfless and generous service to our neighbor, can we joyfully lift a song of praise to the Lord. May the Blessed Mother, who invites us this evening to find refuge in her Immaculate Heart, obtain this grace for us. 

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