Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
First Reading | Zephaniah 3:14-18 (or Romans 12:9-16)
The Visitation is a feast of selflessness. The Church celebrates Mary’s selfless love for her cousin Elizabeth. This, too, is a call for us to love one another in a selfless way. Love is nothing if it is not selfless. Love is never self-interested. To love is to place the other person’s needs before your own.
14 Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! 15 The Lord has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. 16 On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! 17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you, 18 as one sings at festivals.
Responsorial Psalm | Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
R: Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
2 God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior. 3 With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation. (R) 4 Give thanks to the Lord, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. (R) 5 Sing praise to the Lord for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth. 6 Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel! (R)
Gospel | Luke 1:39-56
As we celebrate the many feast days of Mary in the liturgical calendar, the Church reminds us that she is our mother and the perfect disciple. Let us pray for the same grace and strength that she had to respond to God’s call and to persevere until the end. It was not easy, but we never heard her complain. That is the way life will be for us in our faith walk—a mixture of joy and pain, blessing and suffering.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
39 Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” 46 And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; 47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generation will call me blessed: 49 the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. 50 He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. 51 He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. 52 He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, 55 the promise he had made to fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.” 56 Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.