By: Laura Worhacz
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Although our Catholic Church celebrates the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in May, over 3,000 people of faith remember the Visitation in a very special way every August. The 32nd annual three-day walk, over 70 miles from NJ to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA was held this past August 8-11, 2019. My daughter went on this pilgrimage a few years ago and it will forever be held in her heart.
This joyful mystery of The Visitation holds a Eucharistic energy that should inspire us each day. Mary espoused the Holy Spirit, she embodied the flesh of Christ in her existence, beheld the Eucharist and immediately brought Him to another. Over 72 miles on foot, going outside of her self-interest, Mary was led by the spirit of God’s love to walk earnestly to embrace her cousin Elizabeth. Mary’s Immaculate heart was formed in loving others over herself, a perfect charity towards her neighbor was exercised through her own reception of Holy Communion. Mary was able to acknowledge the need of Elizabeth through the silence of prayer, her union with God, the life of Christ living in her opened her eyes to the longing of another.
Elizabeth, faithful in her being, was given the grace of God in the flesh by the sacrificial love of Mary! Consoling companionship is ignited by the Holy Spirit, Mary offered this to Elizabeth, and the child in her womb leapt for joy. This is how the faith is passed on from one generation to the next, by the love of God found in the Eucharist and shared.
I am recalling my own visitation with so many dear people and how some of those very special relationships have lost the daily connection due to the busyness of life. There is a place in the depths of the soul that holds the communion of God, the visitation of His love and the intercession of our prayer. We see in the silence when we close our eyes and enter the depth of God’s love for us. Our father longs for us to find security in His presence, a place where we are visited, where the Holy Spirit will be made known through God’s promise. Mary was blessed by her eyes, able to see in the silence. There was a quiet that Mary was nourished by and led to share through the empowerment of eternal life dwelling within her through the Eucharist.
I imagine the response of Our Lady when she received the news of John the Baptist’s death. Assuredly with her eyes closed, she clearly envisioned the eternal life and love she bonded with through her visitation with her beloved. These such relationships build the Eucharistic Kingdom of Heaven, found and nourished now in the Eucharist, brought to the fullness in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
May the joyful mystery of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God and our Mother show us the way to a life lived for others.
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.