Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Romans 12:9-16; Luke 1:39-56)

Titian and Tintoretto are two celebrated Venetian Renaissance painters. Their comparative styles have been demonstrated in their depictions of Mary’s Annunciation. Titian portrays a reflective woman in a well-pointed apartment. Tintoretto’s “Annunciation,” on the other hand, shows a common girl in a rundown house utterly surprised by good news.

In character with Tintoretto’s virgin, Mary hastens to visit Elizabeth who is having a much unexpected pregnancy. In doing so, she does more than offer services to an elderly matron. She quite spontaneously responds to the word of God. In both ways, Mary models discipleship. We too should act on God’s word by offering a helping hand to the needy.

But Mary’s greatness goes further. She proclaims the goodness of God with words as well as deeds. She offers her own experience as a testimony of God’s special love for the poor. We likewise should not hesitate to tell others how God has blessed us.