During this second week of Advent, we find Mary making a visit to her cousin Elizabeth. When the two women embrace each other, we hear in scripture that the baby in her womb leapt for joy. (Lk 1:39-45)
Mary went to visit her cousin after she found out that both she and her cousin were pregnant. Mary wanted to be with her cousin to share this joy and to be of help to her.
There are times in my life when I encounter another person and actually sense and believe that Jesus is there with us. Sometimes you meet someone for the first time and there is such a strong encounter, you walk away with an awesome awareness of the presence of God.
I lived this experience when I was visiting Rio de Janeiro last July. I stayed with a family while preparing for the events at World Youth Day 2013. This family revealed to me the presence of God by the way they greeted me and welcomed me into their home.
As Mary and Elizabeth encountered a moment of joy, so did I when this family embraced me and opened up their home to me. It had such a profound impact on me, that when I think of them today, I feel God is embracing me.
When we visit with people, how aware are we that the presence of Jesus is in our midst? Do we sense His presence?