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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings

Feast of The Visitation of Mary

Submitted by on Monday, 31 May 2010No Comment

visitation-mary2

  • Reading I: Zephaniah 3:14-18a or Romans 12:9-16
  • Resp. Psalm: Isaiah 12
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56

The Feast of the Visitation of Mary started out as a devotion of the Franciscans that became part of the liturgical calendar.  It was included by Pope Urban VI in the Roman calendar (1389) and its celebration fixed on July 2.  This was the case until 1969 when Pope Paul VI moved the celebration to May 31 between the Annunciation (25 March) and the birth of John the Baptist (24 June) “so that it can harmonize better with the Gospel story.”  (See WikiPedia, Catholic Encyclopedia)

In the gospel narrative of Luke 1:39-56, Mary, figure of the Church, brings Christ to Elizabeth and her son, John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit that has overshadowed Mary in the Annunciation, now fills up Elizabeth as Mary gives her the greeting of peace. The voice of the bringer of good news reaches even the future Baptist, recognizing in it the presence of the one whose way he is to prepare.

The first reading from Zephaniah applies the prophetic oracle of the eschatological restoration of Israel to the visitation of Elizabeth. The Catechism sees in Mary’s visit the visitation of God Himself (CCC 717).

The alternative reading from Romans applies Paul exhortation to sincere love in Mary’s action of going to Judea to help her older cousin. While it is questionable whether the Lucan narrative stresses Mary’s going to Elizabeth as an act of charity (Luke separates Mary’s episode from the birth of the Baptist), popular preaching highlight it.

Zephaniah 3:14-18
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
14Give praise, O daughter of Sion: shout, O Israel: be glad, and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
15The Lord hath taken away thy judgment, he hath turned away thy enemies: the king of Israel the Lord is in the midst of thee, thou shalt fear evil no more.
16In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not: to Sion: Let not thy hands be weakened.
17The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save: he will rejoice over thee with gladness, he will be silent in his love, he will be joyful over thee in praise.
18The triflers that were departed from the law, I will gather together, because they were of thee: that thou mayest no more suffer reproach for them.
Romans 12:9-16
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
9Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good.
10Loving one another with the charity of brotherhood, with honour preventing one another.
11In carefulness not slothful. In spirit fervent. Serving the Lord.
12Rejoicing in hope. Patient in tribulation. Instant in prayer.
13Communicating to the necessities of the saints. Pursuing hospitality.
14Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep.
16Being of one mind one towards another. Not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Luke 1:39-56
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
39And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.
40And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
41And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
45And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
46And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
51He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
52He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
55As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
56And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.
Luke 1:39-56
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
39And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.
40And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
41And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
45And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
46And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
51He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
52He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
55As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
56And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.
CCC 717
¶717 "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." John was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb" by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary's visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.

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