Feast of the Visitation

A young mother liked to sing lullabies to her children at bed time.  One evening she overheard her six-year-old son saying to his younger sister, “If you pretend to be asleep, mom will stop singing.” Wouldn’t it be nice if that worked for homilies, too?  Just fall asleep and the homilist will stop. 

Today we celebrate the feast of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth.  Abbé de Rancé wrote a beautiful meditation about her visit. He writes, (and I paraphrase): “Today we honor Mary with Jesus hidden in her womb, producing grace in the heart of Elizabeth and in the heart of John cloistered in her womb. There’s not a single grace which has not come to us from Jesus visiting us and giving us his very self, hidden now in the womb of the Church as he was once hidden in the womb of Mary.  All the graces we receive are given in such a way that each of us owes our salvation to the prayers of others, beginning with Mary.”

Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth reminds us of this great mystery, that our salvation is bound up with the prayers of others for us.  No one in the Church is self-sufficient. All Christians are not only our sisters and brothers, but also our mothers in the life of grace. So, each of us is a mother and a child of all other Christians. Together we are being formed into the communion of saints.