Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Second Joyful Mystery ~ The Visitation

  

This vibrant picture of two pregnant Caribbean women meeting - Mary and her elder relative Elizabeth, is called the Visitation - the visit. The energy, the smiles, the colors, the embraces! The quote from Saint Jane Frances de Chantal is quite apt: "This is the place of our delight and rest." We might read the account of the Visitation in Luke 1:39-56, before going to pray this decade of the rosary with the ten reflections.


Our Father, Who art in  heaven...

The baby within Mary's womb is at first, like all of us, a cluster of cells. Yet God is here - a God who wants more than anything to be shared, expressed and loved. And I don't want to just know this, like data, but I want to be excited by this, excited to do or be something new.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Mary wastes no time. Unannounced, with the embryonic child within her womb, she goes off to see her elder relative Elizabeth. Time is short. Let me not delay in the things of God: family, humility, justice, reconciliation, compassion.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Hastily, Mary went to Elizabeth to share the happy news. Perhaps at times she ran along the way, like the women of Easter morning - running - running from the empty tomb in the joy of Jesus Risen! Oh, God keep me from running to the people and places of false and temporary happiness. I will run instead with the happy news of Jesus in my heart!

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Elizabeth would not have known of Mary's visit ahead of time. When Mary arrived at the home in Judea, Jesus was the size of a pinhead in his mother's womb. And Elizabeth said: Who am I, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? Elizabeth understands who this is in Mary's womb. Do I?

Hail Mary, full of grace...

I am the Lord's servant, Mary said. She opened up space for God, and forgetting herself she went quickly to see her elder pregnant relative, Elizabeth. Love puts itself at the service of others.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Mary's pregnancy. Christianity is about a cross and an empty tomb, but it is also about a womb. A fertilized ovum that became an embryo, that became a fetus. No matter how tiny, the God-man, Jesus, was with us from the start. He took on our human form and became one of us.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

At the time of the Visitation, Mary was pregnant likely no more than ten days. There would not have been signs of her pregnancy yet. But when Mary arrived, the baby inside Elizabeth's womb jumped for joy. Jumped for joy! (Luke 1:44)

Hail Mary, full of grace...

As unmarried, Joseph and Mary's family might have rejected her. She might have been reduced to ostracized poverty. She and her child might have become outcasts. Today she would be counseled to take all of these negatives into consideration and end the pregnancy. But she chose to have her child!

Hail Mary, full of grace...

The angel is quite clear: not only is the child's conception announced but so is His name. His name will be Jesus. Already the little life in Mary's womb is known to God the Creator by name! And so was I? And so is the life of each conceived person. I have called you by name, you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

Hail Mary, full of grace...

This is strange. Some people still like to think of ourselves as a Christian county. But it was the ancient Chinese who calculated someone's age not from the day of the person's birth but from the best guess of when the person was conceived!

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Glory be to the Father...


Lilium Candidum ~ Madonna Lily


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