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.

Friday, 31 May 2019 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we all celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ. On this day we recall the moment when Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth in the hill country of Judea, upon hearing how her elderly cousin had miraculously become pregnant with a child as told to her by the Archangel Gabriel.

In the occasion celebrated today, the essence of it is the joyful expectation of the coming of God’s salvation to His people, the fulfilment of His promise and the affirmation of His love for His people, after a long awaited period of expectation and waiting for the coming of the light of salvation to the world filled with suffering and darkness. The Lord revealed His salvation to all of His people not in glorious way, but through a humble woman coming to visit another elderly woman.

God fulfilled His promise in sending His Saviour, in the womb of this holy woman, a humble and unknown virgin from a small Galilean village of Nazareth, a most unlikely source of God’s salvation and work, and yet, that was the reality of what had happened. God came into this world not as a mighty conqueror or a triumphant King, but rather, as a humble Child borne by a humble and simple woman from humble and unknown origins.

Ultimately, in the end, this proves a very important point that God did not do His works by human might, power and means, but by His own power and mysterious ways. And that was exactly how God worked His wonders and salvation to all of us. He has done everything He wanted to do, so that all of us might be saved and receive from Him the assurance of eternal life and glory.

In our Gospel passage today, we listened to the words of Mary, in a song she sang when filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. This song is known today as the Magnificat, a great song of praise and glorification, a song of great thanksgiving and submission to God. Mary essentially summarised all that God had done for each and every one of us, showing us His love and His faithfulness, that He will not abandon us even when we are in great need.

God has always been faithful to us, and He gave us everything we need, and the greatest of His many gifts is none other than the gift of His own Son, Our Lord Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour. And in the Visitation, it was symbolic of God coming into our midst, even when He was still in the womb of His mother Mary, and the response that St. John the Baptist, who was also in Elizabeth’s womb, should be the same response that we have as well.

St. John the Baptist, even as a baby, recognised his Lord and Master, and was so joyful, leaping with joy in his mother’s womb. This joy was the same joy that Mary felt and expressed in her song, in the great love and providence which God has given His people, in not leaving them behind in their fate and in the darkness of the world. The Lord Who loves and provides has become the source of all of our joy and happiness.

Unfortunately, in our world today, many of us cannot recognise God’s presence and His love for us. We tend to seek those who give us worldly joy and happiness, seeking comfort in money, power, human praise, glorification and pleasures of the flesh, that distract us from being able to recognise God being present in our midst and in our lives. Are we then able to resist these temptations of the false and temporary, worldly joys, and instead seek the true comfort of God?

Let us all be firm in our faith and in our hope, knowing that God is always watching over us and protecting us, providing us with all that we need. Let us all strive to be ever more committed and draw ever closer to the Lord, from now on, with a new commitment and courage. May God be with us all, now and always. Amen.

Friday, 31 May 2019 : 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.

Friday, 31 May 2019 : 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.

Friday, 31 May 2019 : 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.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 : 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 moment when Mary, the Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, came to visit her cousin, Elizabeth in the mountain counties of Judea. It was the sixth month since Elizabeth has become pregnant by the grace of God, with the herald of the Messiah, John the Baptist in her womb, while Mary herself carried Jesus, the Lord and Messiah in her womb.

Today is a day of joy, since the same joy experienced by John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth his mother is also the same joy which all of us should experience. After all, we are all mortal and sinful men, all of whom have sinned and did not deserve the kindness, mercy, love and forgiveness from our Lord, and yet He generously extended His love, which He had shown us through none other than Jesus, His only Son.

Today we remember that God has loved us all mankind so much, and indeed so great is His love that He gave us His only Son, Jesus, to be our Saviour and Redeemer so that all of us who believe in Him may be saved and may receive eternal life through Him. He has willingly come down into this world so that through Him the world of men may have hope and light in the midst of all the darkness.

And in all these, Mary played a very central role indeed, as the one through whom the Saviour was to be born. Mary fulfilled perfectly the role to which she had been appointed to by the Lord, by obeying the commands which God had given her, faithfully carrying out the mission and believing and trusting in the providence of God, that whatever God’s will is for her, it shall be done.

Elizabeth too believed in the Lord, and she obeyed Him in all things, and God rewarded her with the very important role, to be the mother of the herald of the Messiah, the one to usher in the coming of the Lord Himself, even though she was already very old and long past child bearing age. Through her, and ultimately through Mary, God showed this world, that His divine protection, grace and blessings are with those who obey Him.

The song of Mary, the Magnificat which Mary sang, filled with the Holy Spirit is the great song of thanksgiving for all the great things which God had done for her, and ultimately, also for all those who have been faithful to God. And in that song, we too have the same hope, the same joy and the same gladness, knowing that God is also with us, and will also bless us in the same manner if we are faithful to Him.

Therefore today, it is imperative that all of us find a moment to reflect on the great occasion of Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth. The Lord has come upon us and showed us His mercy, and He is willing to forgive us, but are we all willing and ready to forgive ourselves? Are we all ready to commit ourselves to the Lord in the same manner as the Lord has committed Himself to us?

Let us all change ourselves, our ways and everything that we do, so that in all things, we may draw ever closer to God, and become ever more devoted servants and followers of our God. Let us become truly worthy of God, so that when He comes again in His glory, we may be welcomed into His eternal kingdom, and receive the glory of eternal life with Him. Amen.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

At that time, 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.