Today is the Feast of the Visitation, that wonderful (yet not widely celebrated) feast when Blessed Mary went to see her cousin Elizabeth. While she was talking with Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s heart rejoiced….and we have this wonderful Magnificat from Mary’s mouth, a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, which the Church has sung for centuries….
It’s a wonderful image to reflect on, this encounter between two people, when one recognizes the “God-bearer” status of the other… I have loved Archbishop Tutu’s constant reminder to see people as God-bearers…that this image is held in front of our eyes as we encounter those around us.
And then this morning, I had Psalm 69, a wonderfully rich text full of petitions for help and assistance, for deliverance from enemies…and spaces of joy and adoration and praise.
Thinking of the Feast of the Visitation, there was one image that hooked me:
In the BCP version, there is a section that says
“The afflicted shall see and be glad;
you who seek God, your heart shall live.
For the Lord listens to the needy,
and his prisoners he does not despise.”
It is the image of the heart that hooks me, that I resonate with….of what happens to the heart when we encounter God–when God encounters us. The NRSV has what I think is a more beautiful image of this:
“Let the oppressed see it and be
you who seek God, let your
For the Lord hears the needy,
and does not despise his own
that are in bonds.”
This is a good image for me to meditate on: the image of a heart being revived in an encounter with the Divine. I think that is what happened to Elizabeth, and to Blessed Mary herself….that was a revivio, an awakening, a re-awakening of the spirit, an opening of the heart…a blessed encounter.
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