Visitation

Luke 1:39-56

‘Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country’.

When Mary sets out to visit Elizabeth there’s a sense of urgency and excitement. By all accounts Mary’s journey to Elizabeth won’t have been easy. Whatever we imagine the terrain to be like, the journey was long and not without danger for someone Mary’s age. Luke gives us none of these details. His focus in on the joy of two women meeting. Mary and Elizabeth have lived lives of faithfulness to God’s Word. Their faithfulness has made them so open and ready to receive: God can easily find a home in them. On this Feast we sing a hymn written by one of our Sisters. This verse always strikes me:

Virgin mother, childless wife,
Vessels of his will;
In their flesh his kingdom grows,
Secret, holy, still.

Some similar themes are at work in a sonnet for the Visitation by Malcolm Guite:

Two women on the very edge of things
Unnoticed and unknown to men of power
But in their flesh the hidden Spirit sings
And in their lives the buds of blessing flower.

This place for the kingdom to grow ‘secret, holy, still’ is within each one of us.
Each one of us has the capacity for these ‘buds of blessing’ to flower.

How can you nurture this kingdom life within you?