Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dance with Shouts of Joy

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Zion, have no fear, do not let your hands fall limp.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior.
He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love;
he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival.

Zephaniah 3:16,17

Today is the joy-filled feast day of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Mother Church joyfully celebrates the visit of the pregnant Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, remembering what a joyous, Holy Spirit filled event that was. The first reading is chosen from Zephaniah where He prophesies the restoration of the remnant of Israel.

Two things stand out for me about Mary's visitation with Elizabeth.  Firstly that the Holy Spirit sanctified the event, baptising both Elizabeth and baby John in her womb.  Secondly that it was an event drenched with joy.  Zephaniah describes God "dancing with shouts of joy".  I'm sure He was doing this during Mary's visit with Elizabeth.  Why?  Because His glorious plan of salvation for all mankind was starting to be worked out through the humble obedience of a young Jewish girl.

Today I celebrate this glorious feast along with Mother Church, full of exuberant joy.  I join God in His glorious dance!

Thank you Father for your wonderful plan to save me.  Thank you Mary for your humble but resounding "Yes" that brought that plan into fruition.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen!

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