A Women’s Feast?

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

May 31, 2019

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Today, in Mercy, we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation, when a newly-pregnant Mary travels to be with her shockingly pregnant older cousin, Elizabeth. Although a universal feast, it is certainly a feast for women to treasure.

The Carmignano Visitation, a unique masterpiece by one of sixteenth-century Italy’s greatest painters, Jacopo da Pontormo (1494-1557)

The Gospel is replete with the quiet but powerful understandings women share with one another:

  • the haste to support one another
  • the blessing and bolstering of each other’s faith
  • the shared joy to cause a baby’s leap in the womb
  • the desire for mercy and justice for the suffering
  • the “staying with” until need’s end

Of course, men too experience many of these holy sensibilities, but today most certainly invites women to celebrate the gifts of God within their bodies, minds and spirits.

Perhaps we might pray on these things while watching this movie clip of the imagined scene:

Music: Two selections for this wonderful Feastday:

Ave Maria (Schubert) sung in German, as Schubert wrote it, by the incomparable Marian Anderson

Magnificat (Bach) Imagine composing this powerful first movement based on only a single word: “Magnificat”

2 thoughts on “A Women’s Feast?

  1. Marian Catholic

    A beautiful commemoration of Our Lady’s feast. Thank you.

    The Greek word for “blessed” in Luke 1:48 is makaria. So what the evangelist intends to tell us is that future generations shall not call Mary blessed simply for being the mother of our Lord Jesus, but rather because of the singular privileges that extend from this one “supreme privilege,” which include our Blessed Lady’s Immaculate Conception and Assumption body and soul into Heaven. When Jesus says, “Blessed (makaria) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” the higher expression of their being blessed is ‘seeing God’. The faithful aren’t simply blessed for being ‘pure in heart’. This same Greek word for ‘blessed’ is used in Luke 11:27-28. Again, Mary is blessed not simply for being the mother of a great prophet or rabbi, but rather because of her faith working through love, without which the incarnation wouldn’t have happened by default. By her Fiat, Mary brought Jesus (Yeshua: “God is salvation”) into the world. Thus Elizabeth exclaimed: “Blessed (makaria) are you who believed” (Lk 1:45). Another privilege that extends from Mary’s obedient act of faith, and because of it, is her dual maternity. By becoming the mother of our Lord Jesus, she became the Mother of the Church. As our spiritual mother, Mary mediates her Son’s grace to all her children, John the Baptist was the first to be graced in his mother’s womb by the sound of her voice which ascended to Heaven like a prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

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