10 Dec 2011

Advent Reflections - The Visitation

Mosaic at the Church of the Visitation, Ein Karem, Israel
Advent is a season of waiting and making space for the Lord both in our hearts and in our lives but it is not a process or a waiting that we do on our own, in isolation; as St Paul reminds us we are all parts of the Body of Christ - the Church - and we are called on to reach out to the Christ in each of our neighbours - to incarnate Christ in our world today.

Mary's response to her call to be the Mother of God was to go on a three to four day journey to  the hill country of Judea, outside Jerusalem to a place which tradition now calls Ein Karem to visit her older kinswoman Elizabeth who was six months pregnant with the herald of the Lord, John the Baptist. Even in the womb, John fulfilled his role as prophet and herald for he "lept for joy when [he] heard Mary's greeting.
This Advent, what is your response to the call of the Lord to be made "incarnate" in your life?

Mary greets Elizabeth - sculpture in the courtyard
 of the Church of the Visitation, Ein Karem.
The Visitation Journey

The second bead: scene of the lovely journey
of Lady Mary, on whom artists confer
a blue silk gown, a day pouring out Springtime,
and birds singing and flowers bowing to her.

Rather, I see a girl upon a donkey
and her too held by what was said to mind
how the sky was or if the grass was growing.
I doubt the flowers; I doubt the road was kind.

"Love hurried forth to serve." I read, approving.
But also see, with thoughts blown past her youth,
a girl riding upon a jolting donkey
and riding further and further into the truth.

by Jessica Powers

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