Jeremy and I visited our Franciscan friend, Sister Mary Peter, on the Solemnity of Saint Francis of Assisi earlier in the year. Visits are always very special and meaningful and usually they entail a meal to enjoy each others company, stories, and laughs.
Today, we celebrate that one visit that made a difference in salvation history: Mary visits her elder cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1.39-56). Elizabeth’s child leaped for joy in the womb. When we visit others and offer them our time, a listening ear, and love do we bring with us a sense of joy? Do we bring with them the Christ who lives within all of us?
That may be the point. We are to bring Christ to others and share in the joy of his presence among us. Recognizing his presence where two or three are gathered in his name, moves us to join Mary in stating, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” And ultimately, it is Christ visiting us when two or three gather in his name to celebrate Eucharist.
“Therefore it is an excellent and fruitful custom of holy Church that we should sing Mary’s hymn at the time of evening prayer. By meditating upon the incarnation, our devotion is kindled, and by remembering the example of God’s Mother, we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue. Such virtues are best achieved in the evening. We are weary after the day’s work and worn out by our distractions. The time for rest is near, and our minds are ready for contemplation.“