Today is the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. As we know, this feast commemorates Jesus’ return to his Father in heaven. As we also know, this means that Pentecost is right around the liturgical corner.
And as some who have been reading here for awhile may recall, the Annunciation, the visitation, and Pentecost are linked together in this blogger's mind.
When the apostles were gathered in the Upper Room awaiting the promised Holy Spirit, our Blessed Mother was with them. Together, all devoted themselves to prayer. Together, all waited.
Pentecost was not the first time our Blessed Mother would receive a Visitation from God. Surely during her time in the Upper Room, the Mother of Jesus thought back through scenes from His earthly life, and probably her mind recalled that glorious day when an angel had appeared to her.
I think of the Annunciation as the "big V" that led to the "little v." God directly pierced through human history, like an arrow parting the waters of sin, darkness, and death.
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy Offspring to be born will be called Son of God." (Luke 1:35)
Immediately upon saying these words to Mary, the angel added: "Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age.." (Luke 1:36) Mary then went in haste to Elizabeth, making a visitation because both had been Visited (one in a totally unique way, of course) by God.
There would have been no visit of Mary to Elizabeth if there had been no Visit to Mary by the angel.
There would have been no Pentecost if there had been no Incarnation.
Without God's Visitation to Mary and her total yes to Him, we would have had no Savior, no Cross, no Resurrection, no Ascension of Jesus, no gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, no Church.
With this in mind, I pray that we will be graced to open our hearts more fully to receiving Visitations from the Holy Spirit. I pray that we will visit Him in return, in praise and adoration. Only then will we be empowered to visit those around us in witness, in works of mercy, and through prayer.
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you; then you are to be My witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, yes, even to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
Text not in quotes
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