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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 1, 39-47

Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could into the hill country to a town in Judah.

She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth.

Now it happened that as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

She gave a loud cry and said, 'Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?

Look, the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.

Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.'

And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord

and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the liturgical calendar commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Queen. We could say that in a sense that this completes the Feast of the Assumption, celebrated on August 15. It is, in any case, the same mystery that envelopes the Mother of Jesus. The Second Vatican Council writes, “Finally the Immaculate Virgin...when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” This is truly a great mystery, because it not only opens up to us the future towards which we are journeying, but it gives us a Mother who continues to stand before our eyes as a sign of the boundless mercy of God. The Gospel of the Visitation to Elizabeth shows us how quickly Mary responded to the Lord, practicing the mercy that she had first received. Luke writes that Mary, after being told by the angel that Elizabeth was pregnant, immediately runs to her. She went “with haste,” the evangelist writes. The Gospel always makes us hurry, pushing us to leave behind our habits, our private concerns, and our thoughts. And how many thoughts Mary must have had then, after the Word of God had completely turned her life upside down! The Gospel makes us get up and drives us to be close to those who suffer or who are in any kind of need, like the elderly Elizabeth, who was facing a difficult pregnancy. As soon as she sees the young Mary enter her house, she rejoices profoundly, to her very womb. It is the joy that the weak and the poor experience when they are visited by the “servants” of the Lord, who “believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to [them] by the Lord.” The Word of God creates a new alliance in the world, an unusual alliance, between the disciples of the Gospel and the poor.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord