Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Zephaniah 3:14-18, Isaiah 12:2-6, Luke 1:39-56


Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. Lk 1:45

Zephaniah 3:14-18, Isaiah 12:2-6, Luke 1:39-56

Zephaniah 3:14-18

Dear Love,

Today the Church celebrates Your Mother Mary who after receiving the astounding news that she was to be the Mother of God, went in haste to visit her cousin for it was revealed to her that she who was called barren and was old was also with child. Both babes in the womb were children of promise and children of joy. 

Long before this event was to come to pass the prophet Zephaniah rejoiced at what the Lord God of Israel would do. He would look with favor on a daughter of Israel and she would rejoice and exult because although she His lowly handmaid was invited to collaborate with Him to bring forth His Son who would save the world. He was to become Emmanuel, the King of Israel, who would bring about a new Jerusalem, who would take judgement on Himself and pay the price for all sin. The Enemy would be crushed, God would walk in our midst, and establish an eternal Covenant of Love with us.  Through Mary, fairest daughter of Israel, the world would receive a Savior who would lead all those who believed from darkness to eternal light.

Isaiah 12:2-6

Dear Love,

We recall the prophecy of Isaiah as well. He revealed that God would send us a Savior who would strengthen His people and bring them to the fountain of salvation from where they will drink life giving water. God would walk in our midst. You would live among us and do mighty deeds so we could believe that You were the One sent by the Father. 

We will give You thanks, we will raise Your Name which is higher than any other. We will recall the mighty deeds You have done culminating in the greatest which brought about the salvation of the whole world. We will sing songs, we will exult and we will praise You as long as we live for saving us, for revealing to us the Father and for sending us Your Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:39-56

Dear Love,

Mary, Your Mother, is the disciple par excellence and we would do well to take her as our model, our Mother and our Queen.

She was truly the handmaid of God who had given her whole life into His hands to do with her just as He pleased. Her first thought was always of others. Her cousin needed her and so she went in haste to offer whatever assistance she could to help her elderly relative as well as to share in her joy. 

Mary had You in her womb, and Elizabeth Your cousin John - filled with the Holy Spirit she cried out aloud in a loud voice praising Mary and recognizing that she was chosen to be most blessed among women in every age because of what God had done for her. God became incarnate  in her. 

And Mary in exultant praise sang the most beautiful hymn for she understood that she was the one chosen by God to fulfill the promise He had made of sending us a Savior, a Messiah, His own Son.

And Mary said:
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever."

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

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