Considering that yesterday was the Solemnity of Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, I give you a blog post that focuses on Mary and her relationship with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist through the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. It’s been some time since I have written anything on Benedict, so I give you his words from May 31, 2005, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin in the Year of the Eucharist.
The Holy Father’s words draw us into the Mary’s relationship with the Holy Eucharist, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope St. John Paul II, and our mission of ‘bringing others to Jesus’ as the Blessed Virgin Mary did when she went to the hill country to see her cousin Elizabeth.
Pope Benedict XVI says,
“Our Lady accompanies us every day in our prayers. During this special Year of the Eucharist in which we are living, Mary helps us above all to discover ever better the great sacrament of the Eucharist.
In his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, our beloved Pope John Paul II presented to us as ‘Woman of the Eucharist’ through her life (cf. no. 53). ‘Woman of the Eucharist’ through and through, beginning with her inner disposition: from the Annunciation, when she offered herself fro the Incarnation of the Word of God, to the Cross and to the Resurrection; ‘Woman of the Eucharist’ in the period subsequent to Pentecost, when she received in the Sacrament that Body which she had conceived and carried in her womb.
Today, in particular, we pause to meditate on the mystery of the Visitation of the Virgin to Saint Elizabeth. Mary went to see her elderly cousin Elizabeth, she whom everyone said was sterile but who instead had reached the sixth month of a pregnancy given to her by God (cf. Lk 1:36), and Mary was carrying in her womb the recently conceived Jesus. She was a young girl, but she was not afraid, for was with her, within her.
In a certain way we can say that her journey was – and we like to emphasize it in this Year of the Eucharist – the first ‘Eucharistic procession’ in history. Mary, living Tabernacle of God made flesh, is the Ark of the Covenant in whom the Lord visited and redeemed his people. Jesus’ presence filled her with the Holy Spirit.
When she entered Elizabeth’s house, her greeting was overflowing with grace: John leaped in his mother’s womb, as if he were aware of the coming of the One whom he would one day proclaim to Israel. The children exulted and the mothers exulted. This meeting, imbued with the joy of the Holy Spirit, is expressed in the canticle of the Magnificat.
Is this not also the joy of the Church, which ceaselessly welcomes Christ in the holy Eucharist and brings him into the world with the testimony of active charity, steeped in faith and hope? Yes, welcoming Jesus and bring him to others is the true joy of Christians!
Dear brothers and sisters, let us follow and imitate Mary, a deeply Eucharistic soul, and our whole life can become a Magnificat (cf. Ecclesia de Eucharistia, no. 58), praise of God.”
This reflection comes from the book, Maria: Pope Benedict on the Mother of God.