Thursday, May 31, 2018

Reflection on the Feast of the Visitation

"God visits us in the womb of a woman, mobilizing the womb of another woman with a song of blessing and praise, with a song of joy. The Gospel scene bears all the dynamism of the visit of God: when God comes to meet us He moves us inwardly, He sets in motion what we are until all our life is transformed into praise and blessing. When God visits us, He leaves us restless, with the healthy restlessness of those who feel they have been invited to proclaim what He lives, and is in the midst of His people. This is what we see in Mary, the first disciple and missionary, the new Ark of the Covenant who, far from remaining in the reserved space of our temples, goes out to visit and accompany with her presence the gestation of John...

"With Elizabeth, today too we wish to anoint her and greet her by saying 'Blessed is she who has believed', and continue to believe in 'a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord'. Mary is thus the icon of the disciple, of the believing and prayerful woman who knows how to accompany and encourage our faith and our hope in the distinct stages we must go through. In Mary we find the faithful reflection not of a poetically sweetened faith, but of a strong faith, especially at a time when the sweet enchantments of things are broken and there are contradictions in conflict everywhere.

"And we will certainly have to learn from that strong and helpful faith that characterised and characterises our Mother; to learn from this faith that knows how to get inside history so as to be salt and light in our lives and in our society.

"The society we are building for our children is increasingly marked by the signs of division and fragmentation, leaving many people out of play, especially those who find it difficult to obtain the minimum necessary to lead a dignified life. A society that likes to vaunt its scientific and technological advances, but that has become blind and insensitive to the thousands of faces that are there along the way, excluded by the blind pride of the few. A society that ends up establishing a culture of disillusionment, disenchantment and frustration in many of our brothers, and even anguish in many others due as they experience the difficulties they need to face so as not to lose their way...

"Faced with all these situations, we must say with Elizabeth, 'Blessed is she who has believed', and to learn from this strong and helpful faith that characterized and characterizes our Mother."

--Pope Francis, Homily, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, 2016