Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit overshadowed her and she conceived Jesus, Who is God (Lk 1:35). Mary is the minister of the Spirit. Both Elizabeth and John, the baby in her womb, received the Holy Spirit when Mary came to visit. Mary is the intercessor of the Spirit. In the upper room with Jesus' disciples, she prayed for the Holy Spirit to come (Acts 1:14). Mary is the spouse, minister, and intercessor of the Spirit.
On this feast day celebrating Mary's visit with Elizabeth and John, let's be open to the Lord working through Mary to renew us with the Holy Spirit of Pentecost. If we have stifled (1 Thes 5:19) or saddened the Spirit (Eph 4:30), we must repent. Mary, through her Immaculate Heart, will lay bare the thoughts of our hearts and confront us with our sins (see Lk 2:35). Then we can turn to Jesus, repent, go to Confession, and stir into flame the gift of the Spirit (2 Tm 1:6).
After the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jesus' disciples experienced a new coming of the Spirit. "The place where they were gathered shook as they prayed. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God's word with confidence" (Acts 4:31). Today, when we commemorate both Mary's Visitation and her Immaculate Heart, we can, with Mary's help, receive both a renewed and new Pentecost. Come, Holy Spirit!
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2008 through May 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007.