May 20, 1997
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Pentecost! Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Was There!
The Visit of Mary to Elizabeth
Third Glorious Mystery
Sister Mary Grace
Saint Dominic's Monastery
Washington, DC 20011
On Sunday, May 18, the Roman Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of Pentecost. Sacred
Scripture, Acts 1:14, tells us that the apostles were gathered in continuous prayer, together with
several women, including Mary, the mother of Jesus.|
The woman who was full of grace (Luke 1:28) experienced again in a new way the outpouring of the Spirit at the birth of the Church.
Sacred Scripture depicts the scene of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, after the announcement of the Incarnaton of the Son of God to Mary, as a story filled with dynamic action. Mary has been told that her elderly cousin is expecting a child. Mary drops everything and goes to her. The Gospel account tell us that Mary went in haste(Luke 1:39). Mary, who is filled with the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, carries her secret across the hill country to the house of Elizabeth and Zechariah.
But Elizabeth knows the secret! She senses the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit in Mary. The child in Elizabeth's womb senses it, too. Heaven touches earth as these two women encounter one another, and in the meeting it is the God-man, Jesus Christ, that they actually encounter.
Master of the Scots Institute
Vienna, 15th century
Joy abounds! A joy that springs from the presence of the God of life incarnate in the womb! How these two women, the old and the young, must have sung praises to the God of life! It is a joy that results in months of sharing and of service, for Mary stayed there for about three months before she returned home.
Artists have long depicted the scene as a favorite in Christian iconography. There is the profound reverence of an old woman kneeling in reverence before Mary, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and filled with the God of life. There are also the images of the genuine joy as the two women share the secrets of their God encounters.
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