“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.” (LK 1: 39-40)
Today we celebrate the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a reminder that Our Lady is always a concern with us, on our lives, to support us and help us. Her mission was to protect life and help us grow and be in the best relationship with Our Lord. And wherever she goes, she always brings her Son.
“Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (MK 28: 18-20)
We are members of the Catholic Church. Catholic—means universal—of all nations, all ages, cultures, traditions, and colors. Our universalism comes from God, Who created us, and Who is love. Love is our nature; love is our destiny; love is our way of living and our way to heaven. “Making disciples” also means that we can learn how to love, and we can always be better at loving.
“Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“So they said to Jesus in reply, ‘We do not know.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.’” (MK 11: 33)
To live in truth, to be honest needs courage, needs to be proactive. It is important in marriage to be a spouse and parent who speaks the truth, who is honest. Instead of looking at what is good for me, we are looking at what is good for others, and we are happy in giving.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
“When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may, in turn, forgive you your transgressions.” (MK 11: 25)
When we conflict when we have “a grievance,” we show that instead of loving, we are demanding, we expect somebody’s change, and we want to correct and “repair” others. Forgiveness always looks for understanding, for accepting hidden reasons of somebody’s behavior and compassion.
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus said to him in reply, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man replied to him, ‘Master, I want to see.’” (MK 10: 51)
Whenever I would read this sentence in the Gospel, I would always ask myself: what would be my request? Obviously, the blind man wanted to see; is it obvious for us what we want to ask for if we have the same opportunity?
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamation
“Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.” (MK 10: 43-44)
The simplest strategy to become great—be a servant. When we serve, we show that we recognize our dignity, our common nature, our origin, and our likeness to God. Love is always humble, always looking for being a gift of self: free, creative, and joyful.
“The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus said, ‘Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age…’” (MK 10: 29-30)
This is God’s generosity—we receive more than we can imagine. Whatever we can give to Our Lord, whatever we can sacrifice because of love for Him, we receive “a hundred times more.” This is love—always looking for more, for better, for faster, and for greater generosity.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour, the disciple took her into his home.” (JN 19: 26-27)
Our Lord encourages us to “take His mother into our homes.” She is the one who knows Him perfectly, who knows how to parent us, how to prepare us for our mission and our service to others. She will protect His image in us, His presence in us, and His love.
“O happy Virgin, you gave birth to the Lord; O blessed mother of the Church, you warm our hearts with the Spirit of your Son Jesus Christ.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’” (JN 20: 22-23)
We celebrate today Pentecost Sunday, the moment when the Apostles received the Holy Spirit. He was given to forgive our sins, to bring us back to God the Father in the state in which we were created, to enjoy our relationship with Him fully, and to be a saint and perfect in love. Every sin focuses us on ourselves, on our idealistic visions, on our expectations, what we should receive from others, on our benefits. Love is focusing on giving, sharing, protecting, and serving. The Holy Spirit, Who is the love of Father and Son, will teach us how to love others.
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” (JN 21: 25)
We have only limited access to “things that Jesus did.” Whatever Our Lord did or said was about God’s love for us, about Our Father, Who wants to be also called Our Father, and Who is a constant presence in our hearts – all the Holy Trinity. Love is creative, love is free and joyful, so we can imagine how “many other things Jesus did,” when He was on Earth, and what He does in our hearts every moment of our lives.
“I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord; he will guide you to all truth.” (Gospel Acclamation)