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THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY – FEAST: 31 MAY

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You inspired the Blessed Virgin Mary, when she was carrying Your Son, to visit Elizabeth. Grant that, always docile to the voice of the Spirit, we may, together with our Lady, glorify Your Name. We pray this in the most precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 31 May 2017

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in MARY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

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MAGNIFICAT

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Jakarta, 24 February 2016

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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A PROOF THAT WE TOO CAN RISE AGAIN IN BODY AND IN SPIRIT

A PROOF THAT WE TOO CAN RISE AGAIN IN BODY AND IN SPIRIT

 (A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY – Sunday, 16 August 2015)

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Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56 

First Reading: Revelation 11:19;12:1-6,10; Psalms: Psalm 45:10-12,16; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26 

The Scripture Text

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of His hand maiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm, He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”

And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. (Luke 1:39-56 RSV) 

“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).

Today’s feast is not just a celebration of a glorious event in Mary’s life. It’s a celebration of the destiny that awaits all of us. Mary’s assumption proves that we too can rise again in body and in spirit – just as she was taken body and soul in heaven.

What did you get from a week-long Marian pilgrimage, after visiting shrines, daily Masses, enjoying beautiful scenery during our travels from one place to another place, the bus drive itself was colored by praying and joyfully praising God together as a group? One thing is sure: a deeper experience of God’s presence.

Once we arrived home, we returned to the pace of our everyday life. But the memory of God’s presence never left us. In fact, it became a reminder that just as Mary believed she would experience the fulfilment of God’s promises, so too will we share in those very same promises. We are all pilgrims on the way to the glory that Mary is now experiencing in heaven.

Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30

Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30″

Mary’s words of praise to God in the Magnificat reflect a rhythm of trust and obedience that resulted in a deeper life with the LORD. Pondering these words can help us join that rhythm. We can reread verses 51 to 55 and remember the times when God has kept these promises to each of us. Let’s recall those occasions when we put ourselves on a throne of some sort, and God’s goodness is gently “dethroning” us. What about the times He “exalted” us through a sincere compliment from a friend or through an opportunity to serve His people more fully? Just think: In both situations, God was being just as faithful to us as He was to Mary.

Through her unwavering trust in God, Mary shows us the way to heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “when the course of her earthly life was completed, [Mary] was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of His Body” (CCC, 974). Mary’s life is a constant reminder that we can trust in the Lord’s promise that we too will reign, body and soul, in heaven as beloved children of God.

Prayer: All glory and praise to You, loving Father. I know that Your promises will be fulfilled in my life and for eternity. I rejoice that You call me to be Your own. Amen. 

Jakarta, 14 August 2015 

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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MY SOUL MAGNIFIES THE LORD, AND MY SPIRIT REJOICES IN GOD MY SAVIOR [LUKE 1:46-56]

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Jakarta, 22 December 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN [LUKE 1:39-56]

BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN [LUKE 1:39-56]

VISITATION OF MARY

VISITATION - 9Mary packed her things and hurried off to see her cousin, Elizabeth. She went to help Elizabeth prepare for the birth of her baby, and she probably wanted to ask her for advice in facing her own miraculous pregnancy. When Mary arrived, she greeted Elizabeth with the traditional embrace, but Elizabeth responded in a most non-traditional manner. The baby in her womb jumped, as if for joy, and Elizabeth proclaimed, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42).

Somehow, Elizabeth knew what had happened to Mary. Maybe she had heard through the grapevine, or through a letter from Mary herself. She many have even heard about Mary’s amazing encounter with the angel. But Elizabeth’s “knowledge” about Mary’s situation went beyond simply learning the facts. Luke tells us that when she heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” and cried aloud these now-familiar words of blessing (Luke 1:41-42). Knowing about an event intellectually and knowing it bay the power of the Holy Spirit are two different, but related things.

The story shows how God longs to reveal Himself and His plan to His people. Our ability to understand biblical truths and moral principles is one important gift from God, but this is only part of our heritage. We are also capable of receiving spiritual revelation and enlightenment from God about these truths and principles.

Saint Paul told the Corinthians that God wanted to reveal to them His secret wisdom, things that “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). He also prayed for the Ephesians that God would enlighten the eyes of their hearts so that they could perceive the inheritance that is theirs in Christ (Ephesians 1:18). Likewise, God wants to speak to us. He wants to tell us how much He loves us. He wants to reveal to us His glorious plan of salvation to us His glorious plan of salvation and our part in that plan. Let us God to enlighten us today so that we might know Him in our hearts and so that we might embrace His glorious plan more fully.

Jakarta, 31 May 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MAGNIFICAT: THE CANTICLE OF MARY

MAGNIFICAT: THE CANTICLE OF MARY

 (A biblical reflection on the feast of THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY – Sunday, 11 August 2013) 

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56 

First Reading: Revelation 11:19;12:1-6,10; Psalms: Psalm 45:10-12,16; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 15:20-26

VISITASI - MARIA MENGUNJUNGI ELISABET - 1

The Scripture Text

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of His hand maiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm, He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”

And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. (Luke 1:39-56 RSV) 

Mary’s canticle – the Magnificat – is a prayer of faith, just as Mary herself is a model of faith and prayer for all of us. Elizabeth confirmed this when she was moved by the Holy Spirit to cry out, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45). Mary’s trust in God was ultimately fulfilled in the event we celebrate today, when she was taken up body and soul into heaven. Her assumption is the crowning event in the life of a humble, trusting, and prayerful woman.

The Magnificat – Mary’s hymn of praise in response to Elizabeth’s greeting – shows us some principles for our own prayer. Mary’s prayer is perhaps the most humble prayer recorded in scripture. In it, Mary acknowledged the truth about who God is and who she is before Him. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “humility is the foundation of prayer” (CCC, 2559). It certainly was the foundation of Mary’s canticle, as she confessed that God “Has regarded the low estate of His hand maiden …… for He who is mighty has done great things for me” (Luke 1:48,49).

Mary’s prayer is also one of great faith. She trusted in what God would do for her, and throughout her life remained confident of His mercy and kindness (Luke 1:50). She trusted that God would exalt the lowly of this world and that He would be faithful to all His promises (Luke 1:52-53,55). Mary’s canticle is a beautiful demonstration of the fact that we do not have to do great public deeds to please God, nor do we have to expound lengthily on deep theological issues. By following Mary’s example of loving the Lord, trusting Him, and walking humbly in His presence, we can all be pleasing to Him.

As we (you and I) come before the Lord each day in personal prayer, we must try to recall Mary’s example of humility and faith. With her, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we also will be able to declare that “God who is mighty has done great things for me; holy is His name.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You raised Your daughter Mary through her assumption into heaven. Help me to come before You in humility and loving trust, as she did. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, fill me with the depth of faith that Mary had. Amen. 

Jakarta, 7th of August 2013 

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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