30 May 2009

Transferred Solemnity

Due to the Celebration of Pentecost on Sunday, our celebration of the Solemnity of the Visitation is today, 30 May. As we reflect on the exchange between Mary and Elizabeth, it seems fitting to celebrate their embrace on the eve of the coming of the Holy Spirit. For, "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."

Mary responded with generosity by going "in haste" to be with her cousin Elizabeth. When we respond generously to the invitations to be generous that come our way each day, we share in Mary's journey to Ain Karem. Just as Mary's visit to Elizabeth brought the blessing of the Holy Spirit to her cousin, so our acts of charity and kindness to those around us also bring the blessing of the Holy Spirit to those whom we serve. For it is remarked that the kindest of people are those who themselves have received many kindnesses. And so when we respond generously to the needs of others and show compassion, kindness, patience, etc., we invite them to open their hearts to the many gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We turn our thoughts and prayers to this beautiful exchange between a young maiden, soon to be the Mother of God and her cousin, soon to give birth to the voice that will announce the coming of our salvation. How joyous must have been that first Visitation. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Visitation and the eve of Pentecost, we pray to be open and willing instruments of the Lord so that we, like Mary and Elizabeth, may be filled with the Holy Spirit. What better a place to find ourselves than awaiting the gifts of the Spirit. And so we pray with our Holy Mother, Saint Jane de Chantal, "Truly, this is the place of our delight and rest."

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