Friday, May 31, 2013

Mary brought joy to her cousin's home, because she brought Christ.

“In the mystery of the Annunciation and the Visitation, Mary is the very model of the life we should lead. First of all, she welcomed Jesus in her existence; then, she shared what she had received.” – Mother Teresa

Gospel text: (LK 1:39-56)
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

How is it that St. John the Baptist, even in his mother’s womb, was so incredibly joyful just to be in the presence of Jesus? Additionally, why am I not leaping for joy every time I walk into a church, into Jesus’s physical presence? I walk into Jesus’s company with lots of different emotions, but I can’t remember a time when I was so filled with joy that I wanted to jump up and down. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is a common experience among most Christians.

But why?

First and foremost, be patient. Jesus knows what he is doing, believe me. Would you be reading this reflection if you weren’t convinced of that fact? Our call during this Feast of the Visitation is not to get frustrated that we can’t feel the joy John the Baptist felt. Instead, we are invited to open ourselves up in our relationship with Jesus so that we might one day experience that type of joy in his presence.

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