Dear Friends in Christ,
This Sunday is a beautiful feast day. It is the celebration of the Visition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the second Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary. It gives us an opportunity to meditate upon charity. After Our Lady declares her fiat or permission to be the Mother of God, we do not see her locking herself away to prepare, but rather, she goes off to care for her relative Elizabeth. Elizabeth will confirm to Mary of Nazareth that what the angel announced to her was true. Elizabeth, advanced in age, was carrying the infant John the Baptist within her. The description of this meeting of Mary and Elizabeth is so beautiful: “In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’” (Luke 1:39-45). Our Lady responds with the beautiful words that begin with “My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1:46-47). Soon enough, we will emerge from our quarantine and we will have opportunities to “magnify the Lord” in our lives. How can we “magnify” or help others to see Him in us? Our spiritual life is about growing in faith, hope and love. This weekend we are celebrating Pentecost, the birth of the Church. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God within us given at baptism and strengthened in confirmation. We will soon return to God’s house to nourish our souls with the very Body and Blood of Christ so that we are strengthened in faith, hope and love. “The theological virtues (faith, hope and love) are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1813). It is not enough to merely mouth the words “I believe” or that to simply “accept Jesus” and then do what we want. No, the Blessed Virgin Mary gives us the example and balance of how the true disciple responds. We believe, we hope and then we live this out in love. This love is not simply a sentimental feeling, but it is an act of the will and is expressed in all that we think, say and do. As the doors of our spiritual home prepare to open, let us recommit ourselves to “magnify the Lord” as we grow in faith, hope and love!
God bless you,