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Archives: June 2020
MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
IN THE YEAR OF SALVATION TWO THOUSAND TWENTY
JUNE 14, 2020
Walking through a museum earlier this year, this painting of the Visitation stopped me in my tracks. It was the look on Mary’s face: despondent, doubtful, and full of dread. She seems overcome with anxiety. Elizabeth looks at Mary with compassion and embraces her in consolation. This was a revelation—I’d always thought of the Visitation as a happy event.
The painting also contrasts with the Biblical account. In Luke’s Annunciation, Mary accepts God’s call with joy. When she meets Elizabeth, Mary sings the Magnificat, praising God for finding her worthy. There are no allusions to any real-life complications she might face.
But this painting suggests that Mary’s situation was difficult.
Betrothed but not yet married, she was pregnant. Imagine her trying to explain this to Joseph—her story about the Holy Spirit would have been hard to believe. What did she tell her family and friends? We can imagine her being the object of gossip. Worse yet, according to Mosaic law, she could face a punishment of death by stoning.
How did Mary navigate these troubles? I suspect she did it with the help of the Holy Spirit. I think part of Luke’s message is that the presence of the Holy Spirit strengthened her with the necessary courage and patience to accomplish what she was asked to do. It also helped that Joseph, her soon-to-be husband, was a saint.
It happens that Pentecost was May 31 this year—also the feast day of the Visitation. On Pentecost, we celebrate the sending of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Perhaps one lesson we can take from Mary’s Visitation is that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we too can face life’s challenges and maybe even inspire others by our example. The Spirit empowers us to do more than we’re normally capable of. This presence of the Spirit is more likely to happen when we are, like Mary, full of grace.
The Visitation, 1640-1650
By Antonio de Pereda
Parish Finance Committee
The Basilica of Saint Mary
Greetings once again from The Basilica of Saint Mary. I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during this challenging time.
Today, I would like to update you briefly in regard to some of the things that happening at The Basilica.
I would like to begin, though, with a word of thanks to all those whose ongoing financial support helps us to continue the many ministries, services and programs that are at the heart of our Basilica community. Please know of my great gratitude for your generosity. However, as I have mentioned previously, if you find yourself needing financial support, we invite you to connect with our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry.
The second thing I wanted to mention is that while we have ordered the equipment we need so that our staff can begin to livestream our liturgies that equipment unfortunately is on back order. Given this, until the equipment arrives and our staff can take on this responsibility, we will continue to pay to have our liturgies livestreamed.
The third thing I wanted to mention is that even though The Basilica is not open, we continue to meet, and to offer many activities via Zoom. I am enormously grateful to our staff and volunteers who make these this possible. I invite you to check our website to see all that is going on here.
I also want to mention, though, that if you have any suggestions, questions or concerns, please let us know. We may not be able to implement all your suggestions, or respond to all your questions and concerns, but we will do our very best. In this regard, I wanted to mention that last Sunday we had our first Vespers for Solace and Peace. We prayed for those impacted by COVID-19, as well as those who are victims of racism, violence, and injustice.
Going forward, we will continue to celebrate Vespers for Solace and Peace on the first Sunday of each month at 5:30pm. These services will be livestreamed and I invite you to join us.
Finally, as I have mentioned previously, our parish leadership will be meeting next week to discuss whether it is time to begin to reopen The Basilica. I ask for your prayers as we prepare to discuss this issue. Our primary concern is to make sure that when we reopen we can provide an environment that is safe and secure for all who come to The Basilica.
O Christ Jesus
When all is darkness
And we feel our weakness and helplessness,
Give us the sense of Your Presence,
Your Love and Your Strength.
Help me to have perfect trust
In Your protecting love
And strengthening power,
So that nothing may frighten or worry us,
For, living close to You,
We shall see Your Hand,
Your Purpose, Your Will through all things.
News and Resources
THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
IN THE YEAR OF SALVATION TWO THOUSAND TWENTY
JUNE 7, 2020