The art of visiting has all but disappeared in our society. How regrettable as I think back to the weekly visits with dozens of cousins playing softball or hide-and-seek or singing and playing musical instruments. We are also missing out on the mystical act of finding Christ in one another, as that of the visit between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. We miss the chance to see and celebrate what is hidden and deeply powerful. All that Elizabeth’s neighbors saw was her happiness to see Mary and receive her help. But unseen to them were the cousins’ looking into each other’s eyes and intuiting God’s miraculous power. The three months spent together would be the support that carried Mary and Elizabeth through wonderful moments and the suffering they would endure. Their souls magnified the Lord in unison; the Magnificat became a duet.
The feast of the Visitation is my favorite Marian feast. It’s the Feast of Friendship, a friendship that acknowledges the God-life within. Mary and Elizabeth were companions on the spiritual journey, trading the role of guide according to the needs of the moment. They supported each other over rough inner terrain, giving direction and sharing God.
The next time you visit someone, risk to share yourself and your God.