Monday, 31 May 2021 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, remembering the moment when Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, came to visit her cousin Elizabeth, both pregnant with child. At that time, Mary was just having the Child Jesus in her not long after He was conceived in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, while Elizabeth, who had become pregnant earlier, was having St. John the Baptist in her womb, even in her advanced age.

Mary came to visit Elizabeth having been told by the Archangel Gabriel that her cousin was having a child in her, even in her advanced age, as part of God’s plans and to convince her that whatever he has told her is the truth. Mary haas been told that she would become the Mother of the Son of God Most High, that God Himself would come into this world through her, and the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and cause all those things to happen. Mary accepted her role and accepted the truth, and she obeyed the Lord’s will wholly and completely.

When Mary then came to visit Elizabeth, the latter filled with the Holy Spirit praised and honoured Mary, as full of grace and Mother of God, further reaffirming her special role in the work of God’s salvation of mankind. Elizabeth praised her and welcomed her to her place, and Mary herself, filled with the Holy Spirit, sang a great song of thanksgiving that we now know and recognise as the Magnificat, prayed frequently during the prayers of the Divine Office and in other Marian devotions and prayers.

Today as we celebrate this Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary we recall the faith and the wonderful commitment showed by Mary, as an example and inspiration to all of us, as she obeyed the Lord and entrusted herself fully to the divine will, and followed Him to wherever He has led her to. Mary is a great role model for each and every one of us as Christians as we embark on our own journey of faith, following her obedience and dedication to the mission that has been entrusted to her throughout her life.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us as Christians we have also been entrusted with the mission by the Lord to proclaim His truth and salvation to all the peoples of all and every nations. Following the faith and example of Mary, we have to commit ourselves to the Lord and the mission entrusted to us with great devotion and commitment. We should be righteous and just, obedient to the Law of God in the same manner as Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and God had done throughout her own life in this world.

We have to bear witness to the Lord not just through empty faith and belief, but through real contribution and dedication, through our every words and actions that are founded upon the pillars of our Christian faith. We have to do whatever we can, in our respective capacities and abilities, making use of our talents and gifts in all things, for the greater glory of God. We have to seek the Lord with renewed conviction and zeal, and live our lives in such a way that we may always be living examples and sources of inspiration for one another in faith, that through us the Lord may always be glorified.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all follow the faith and example of Mary, the Mother of God, our own beloved Mother through adoption. Just as she is ever faithful, let us all be faithful to the Lord as well. Let us resist the temptations that are always all around us, seeking to prevent us from doing what we have been called to do, to live our lives with faith and to commit ourselves to the works of truth and God’s salvation. This is why we should look up to our Mother for inspiration, guidance and strength, that when we encounter challenges and difficulties, we will always be strong and be able to persevere.

May the Lord be with us all and strengthen us, and may His ever Blessed Mother continue to pray and intercede for us at all times, for the sake of all of us sinners who are still struggling and hoping to see the gleam of the light of Christ’s heavenly glory. O ever Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, pray for us all sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Monday, 31 May 2021 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.”

“The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”

“He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.

Monday, 31 May 2021 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 12 : 2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

He is the God of my salvation; in Him I trust and am not afraid. YHVH is my strength : Him I will praise, the One Who saved me. You will draw water with joy from the very fountain of salvation.

Praise to the Lord, break into songs of joy for Him, proclaim His marvellous deeds among the nations and exalt His Name.

Sing to the Lord : wonders He has done, let these be known all over the earth. Sing for joy, o people of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Monday, 31 May 2021 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Zephaniah 3 : 14-18

Cry out with joy, o daughter of Zion; rejoice, o people of Israel! Sing joyfully with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! YHVH has lifted your sentence and has driven your enemies away. YHVH, the King of Israel is with you; do not fear any misfortune.

On that day they will say to Jerusalem : Do not be afraid nor let your hands tremble, for YHVH your God is within you, YHVH, saving Warrior. He will jump for joy on seeing you, for He has revived His love. For you He will cry out with joy, as you do in the days of the Feast.

I will drive away the evil I warned you about, and you will no longer be ashamed.

Alternative reading

Romans 12 : 9-16b

Let love be sincere. Hate what is evil and hold to whatever is good. Love one another and be considerate. Outdo one another in mutual respect. Be zealous in fulfilling your duties. Be fervent in the Spirit and serve God.

Have hope and be cheerful. Be patient in trials and pray constantly. Share with other Christians in need. With those passing by, be ready to receive them. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not wish evil on anyone. Rejoice with those who are joyful, and weep with those who weep.

Live in peace with one another. Do not dream of extraordinary things.