Mother Mary and Saint Elizabeth, pray for us
VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY : Wednesday 31st May 2023
Zeph. 3:14-18 or Rom. 12:9-16b;
(R. Ps.) Is. 12:2-3,4bcd,5-6;
Lk. 1:39-56 (Ps. Wk. IV)
The prophet proclaims a positive message joyfully. The Lord is in the midst of the people; it is a matter of rejoicing with a joy that reaches out to and involves others. The joy the prophet sings of is a gift from God and a sharing in God’s own joy.
If we would ever seek an example of love that is not a pretence but is sincere and involves ‘profound respect for each other’, it is put before us in the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth. The emphasis on hospitality and treating everyone with equal kindness reminds us that the generosity shown between these women of destiny became an ideal for the followers of Mary’s Son. It could be worth noting that this feast, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, originally a Franciscan celebration initiated by St Bonaventure, was extended to the universal Church in an attempt to end the Great Western Schism in the fourteenth century.
The encounter between Mary and Elizabeth is clearly and movingly a moment of solidarity between two women finding themselves in exceptional circumstances and solidarity between the Jewish and Christian visions of what God does in the world. And Mary’s great prayer of joy sings of God’s solidarity with those who are lowly or in need of help or mercy.
Lord, help us to love as You love us.