Saturday, July 2, 2011
Arise, My Sister, My Bride, and Come
Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - II Class
Missa Salve Sancta Parens
Epistle: Cant. 2:8-14 [The coming of the Bridegroom.]
Gospel: Lk. 1:37-47 [The Visitation.]
Full Latin-English propers here.
Many people long for love. Many young girls long for a boy to come along who will love them and take care of them, acting as their companion through life. Well, today Christ the Bridegroom comes to visit us. Wait-isn't today the Visitation of Mary? Yes. What makes what she did important is that she, the first tabernacle, carried the Nymphios (the Bridegroom) in her womb. That is why Elisabeth was overjoyed. That is why the infant John was overjoyed. Today the Church, the Bride of Christ, sings as the bride of the Canticle of Solomon: "Behold my beloved speaketh to me, Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one; and come." Why is the Church so overjoyed at the coming of her Bridegroom in His Immaculate Tabernacle? Simply because of her love of Him and her knowledge that He loves her. The two lovers want to be together. She is overjoyed that her Bridegroom has come to be with her because she knows that He is the One who takes care of her.
The devil offers her happiness if she were to run away with him. They could live by their own rules on their own accord and seek their own pleasures. Such "love" seeks only good times with the other. The other person is only good insofar as they can make you happy. It's all about how much happiness people can give you. She however, realizes that while the pleasures that the devil offers are easy to attain, they pass just as quickly. Such greedy pleasures are tricks and deceptions that lead only to Hell. She compares this with the love she has for her Divine Bridegroom. This love is selfless. It does not seek to receive happiness and good times; it only seeks to give self to the other.
She looks up at her Bridegroom, at the pain she put Him through on the cross by committing her sins. She sees how He did not respond to her offenses against Him with anger and frustration, that she did not give Him what He wanted. He instead patiently bore the offenses, offering the pain up to God to cleanse her of her sins and make her beautiful again. He offers Himself up to give her a better life. He sacrifices Himself for her good. This is what love really is. Love does not seek happiness; love is sacrificial. He puts up with all the pain that comes His way because He's doing this for her. The possibility of one day being together with her in perfect bliss makes it all worth it. Today the Bridegroom comes to visit us and be with us. Because of this love that exists between the two of them, the Church exalts at the coming of her Divine Lover in the womb of the New Ark of the Covenant. Even the unborn leap for joy at this sight.