As the month of October nears, our thoughts go to the 13th of October, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. For most feasts we give much time to go to her nine days prior with our needs and lack. However, from this feast onwards, we have the privilege of our Blessed Mother visiting our homes, staying with us for 24 hours and bringing into our hearts the desire to keep her company with the recitation of the Rosary, which she has been calling for repeatedly.
Last year I moved from Mumbai to Goa permanently. Within a fortnight, I was blessed with the visit of our beloved Mother (after due adjustment of the dates by my helpful neighbours). For me it was a very touching experience and a day of bliss, it was her first visit! In Mumbai this tradition barely exists in most Parishes except in buildings where Catholics are predominant. Taking her from one house to another with lit candles and singing a hymn is possible. Elsewhere moving from one building to another across heavy traffic and busy streets lacks devotion and respect.
I would like to connect this tradition, from my side, with two well-known events. First, Our Lady’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth – The Visitation. Mother Mary did not go there alone; she had Jesus in her womb, barely conceived. We know how their very entry impacted John the Baptist – he leapt in his mother’s womb, barely 6 months of age. This is the power of Jesus & Mary.
The second event is the Wedding Feast at Cana. Both Jesus & Mary went to that home and saved them from the embarrassment of not having enough wine for the guests without the knowledge of the hosts. When they come to our homes, won’t they fill the lack in our homes?
The visitation of Jesus and Mary to our homes needs to stop being a ritual. We could make it an experience of the love of a Mother and power of her Son to bring much needed transformation in our homes.
Each and every home has issues of sadness, fear, anxiety, sickness, despair and all that is not of God. The concerted prayers of our neighbours & friends could bring about amazing blessings and add power to each home. Sadly, very sadly it is not on this need or lack but on what to serve the visitors, with the stress of trying to give the best. Because of this stress, there have been sighs of relief when Mother Mary leaves. What can we expect from our Beloved Mother and her Son?
Do we need to incur recurring expenses on snacks and soft drinks? Couldn’t each family contribute a small amount and on the last day escorting Mother Mary back to Church have a get-together to know each other and build a bond of love and understanding? I am aware that this is an age-old tradition difficult to discard in a hurry. My views are open for other suggestions whose outcome could be beneficial to all.