Reading and meditation on the Word of God on Monday of the 9th Week in ordinary time.
May 31, 2021.
Feast of Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Reading is delivered by Jane Valerie Untung (from the Church of Santo Lukas in Jakarta, Indonesia) and meditation delivered by Ryan Ko (from the Church of Santo Yohanes Bosco in Jakarta, Indonesia).
Zephaniah 3: 14-18a; Rs psalm Isaiah 12: 2-3.4bcd.5-6; Luke 1: 39-56.
The reading is taken from the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The theme for our meditation today is: The Sisterhood Visit. Whatever type or form of a brotherhood or sisterhood visit we might have often done, we can say that those involved in the meeting are surely filled with a positive atmosphere and energy. People who meet with the aim of finding fault in other person or other party, or provoking conflict and even beating the drum of war, it is not a brotherhood and sisterhood meeting or gathering.
We always believe that the visit of a sister or brother will, of course, create a brotherly or sisterly encounter and fellowship. Those who meet as brothers or sisters understand very well the significance of these kinds of encounter. Those who are not siblings, the meaning of brotherhood or sisterhood also often show how they need each other.
Our holy scripture contains a lot of events of meeting between brothers and sisters. One of those which we celebrate today as our feast is the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her sister Elisabeth. We know that every brotherhood or sisterhood visit has a good and noble purpose. During these visits and encounters, the spirit of being brother or sister toward one another really binds them strongly. Their blood relations, their moments of solidarity or sharing of love from one to another truly become sort of spiritual richness which is to strengthen and to witness their fellowship.
In the occasion of the visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her sister Elisabeth, that event demonstrates to us something higher than the aspect of encounter between sisters. If at the aspects of blood relations and solidarity between persons can bring about kindness and sharing of intimacy as brothers and sisters, at the visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the outcome had actually risen to the point of fullness of grace where the intervention of God the almighty was at work. This is the level of holiness.
At this point it is the Holy Spirit who works and drives all human activities. Elisabeth, who first received the work of the Holy Spirit in to her life, was so delighted to welcome her sister Mary, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, then she became the Mother of God who was conceiving the Son of God. This sisterly encounter of Mary and Elisabeth really gives us inspiration that any brotherly or sisterly relationship animated by the Holy Spirit is very important for us the followers of Christ.
The Holy Spirit animates our various visits and encounters when their nature is sacred, such as the activities of renewal of ourselves, repentance, forgiveness, giving comfort and consolation of those in trouble, companionship to those who are at lost, cooperation to overcome some common difficulties, and unity of faith in grateful praise the Lord. We need to be always open in the involvement of the Holy Spirit in every visit that we do as brothers or sisters.
Let’s pray. In the name of the Father … O Lord Jesus Christ, bless us to be always obedient to the guidance of Your Holy Spirit. Glory to the Father … In the name of the Father …