First Reading: Zep 3: 14-18a or Rom 12: 9-16/
Psalm: Is 12: 2-3. 4bcd. 5-6/
Sing for joy, O people of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel
Gospel: Lk 1: 39-56
Tue: Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary F
Acts 19: 1-8/ Ps 68: 2-3ab. 4-5acd. 6-7ab/ Jn 16: 29-33
1st. Reading: Zep 3: 14-18a or Rom 12: 9-16/
9 Let love be sincere. Hate what is evil and hold to whatever is good. 10 Love one another and be consider ate. Outdo one another, in mutual respect. 11 Be zealous in fulﬁlling your duties. Be fervent in the spirit, and serve God. 12 Have hope and be cheerful. Be patient in trials and pray constantly. 13 Share with other Christians in need. With those passing by, be ready to receive them. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not wish evil on anyone. 15 Rejoice with those who are joyful, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in peace with one another. Do not dream of extraordinary things; be humble and do not hold yourselves as wise.
2nd. Reading: Is 12: 2-3. 4bcd. 5-6/
2 He is the God of my salvation; in him I trust and am not afraid, Yahweh is my strength: him I will praise, the one who saved me.” 3 You will draw water with joy from the very fountain of salvation.
“Praise to Yahweh, break into songs of joy for him, proclaim his marvelous deeds among the nations and exalt his Name.
5 Sing to Yahweh: wonders he has done let these be known all over the earth. 6 Sing for joy, O people of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Gospel: Lk 1: 39-56
39 Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. 40 Sheen
tered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was ﬁlled with the Holy Spirit, and, 42 giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 How is it, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. 45 Blessed are you, who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!” 46 And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 47 my spirit exults in God, my savior! 48 He has looked upon his servant, in her lowliness, and people, forever, will call me blessed. 49 The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is his Name! 50 From age to age, his mercy extends to those who live in his presence. 51 He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. 53 He has ﬁlled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He held out his hand to Israel, his servant, for he remembered his mercy, 55 even as he promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.” 56 Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.
Why did Mary visit Elizabeth after receiving the annunciation? The popular and pietistic answer is, to help her cousin who had conceived in her old age. Really? If so, wasn’t it cruel of Mary to abandon Elizabeth and return home when Elizabeth was in her ninth month and about to give birth? So, why did she go? When one receives an exceedingly incomprehensible experience, it is only human to seek out the company of someone who has had a similar experience: to confide in, to open up one’s heart, to confirm, and when it all sinks in, to celebrate! The moment Mary saw the six-month pregnant cousin, she knew her own experience to be true! At that moment, she could only break into a song and dance (Magnificat)! The Visitation is all about two hearts celebrating God’s amazing break-in to their lives! Let’s not reduce it to just a domestic help. (Of course, being a nice girl, Mary would have helped her cousin while she was there. But that’s a pretty ordinary detail.)