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Friday, May 31, 2013

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - May 31

 "The New Testament is hidden in the Old
and the Old Testament is revealed in the New." 
Saint Augustine

"When at the Visitation she bore in her womb the Word made flesh she became in some way a tabernacle, the first tabernacle in history in which the Son of God still invisible to our human gaze allowed Himself to be adored by Elizabeth radiating His light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary"  Blessed John Paul II
The Visitation

On the last day of May, Mary’s month, we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation.  Begun by St. Bonaventure among the Franciscans in 1263, this became a universal Feast during the papacy of Urban VI in 1389.  This Feast commemorates that of which we meditate on during the second Joyful Mystery of the Most Holy Rosary. Where at the end of Archangel Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary that proclaimed she would conceive and bear a son, the Son of the Most High God (Luke 1:32), he tells Mary that her cousin, Elizabeth has also conceived (Luke 1:36).

As Saint Luke continues his words clearly direct us to understand Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant, especially when compared to passages from 2 Samuel in the Old Testament.

 “Then David and all the people who were with him set out for Baala of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of hosts enthroned above the cherubim.” (2 Samuel 6:2)

“During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah where she entered the house of Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth.(Luke 1:39)

“David feared the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9)

Elizabeth said, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)

“The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obededom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obededom and his whole house.” (2 Samuel 6:11)

“Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.”  (Luke 1:56)

“As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord…” (2 Samuel  6:16)

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb.” (Luke 1:41)

Luke's words link Mary's place in salvation history back to the Old Testament. In the Ark of the Old Covenant, God came to his people with a spiritual presence, but in Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, God comes to dwell with his people not only spiritually but physically, in the womb of Mary a young Jewish girl.

"What happened at the Annunciation when Jesus took flesh in Mary's womb happens in a sacramental way in those who receive the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion.  The Son of God units Himself to you and takes flesh in you.  Then you like Mary going to Elizabeth are sent forth to help all those in need and to radiate the light of Christ through your eyes and voice." Blessed John Paul II
Hans Or Jakob - Visitation
Fra Angelico - Visitation 

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