In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Today is Friday the 31 May, The Feast of The Visitation of Our Lady.
Magnificat anima mea Dominum. My soul glorifies the Lord. As I begin my prayer today, what do I want to give thanks for, to praise God for? For these few moments, I allow my mind to dwell on those things for which I am grateful to God.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.
Today’s gospel gives an account of a most extraordinary visit! Cousins, one young and one old: one a virgin and one past child-bearing years. Both are pregnant. They each recognise the presence of God in the unlikely events which are unfolding around them… I take a moment or two to imagine being with Mary and Elizabeth in Zechariah’s house.
I notice their humility and gratitude. I rejoice with them as they praise God for His goodness - even though they do not understand His ways. I see the hope they have in God, the God who looks with favour on the lowly, the God who comes to turn the values of the world upside down.
Today, the media bombard us with bad news of every kind. Many conversations are filled with doom and gloom. How does it feel to be part of Mary and Elizabeth’s ‘spiritual’ conversation? What effect does it have on me? Do the things I say to others sadden them or offer hope and joy?
Mary’s soul magnifies the Lord. She tells of the coming of Christ – the Christ who will revolutionise our world, my world. As I listen again, this time just to her words, I take a moment to ponder what Christ’s values mean to me in my life – in the unique circumstances of my life.
Mary’s words are taken from the scriptures she will have learned as a child. They form her prayer which challenges us deeply in today's material world. I speak to the Lord. I ask Him for the help I need to carry His word into my daily living. I ask him to enable me to see, like Mary, the ‘great things’ he is doing for me.