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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

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

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The liturgical calendar remembers today the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In a certain sense this celebration completes the feast of the Assumption, celebrated on August 15. It is in any case the same mystery which involves the Mother of Jesus. The Second Vatican Council writes, “The immaculate Virgin…, having finished her time on earth, was assumed into heavenly glory with body and soul and exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe so that she could be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords, the Conqueror of sin and death.” This is truly a great mystery because it not only reveals the future toward which we are all journeying, but it also gives us a Mother who continues to be before our eyes a sign of the limitless mercy of God. The Gospel of the visitation to Elizabeth shows us the readiness with which Mary responded to the Lord, practicing that mercy which she had first welcomed. Luke writes that Mary, after knowing from the angel that Elizabeth was pregnant, immediately ran to her. “In hurry” notes the evangelist. The Gospel always hastens us, pushes us to leave our own habits, our worries and thoughts. And how many thoughts did Mary have in those moments, after the Word of God had completely turned her world upside down! The Gospel makes us rise from ourselves and impels us to draw near to those who suffer or who are in need, like the elderly Elizabeth who was facing a difficult pregnancy. A Christian encounters, seeks the other and needs the other. Each supports the other in important changes in their lives, in times of the fulfilment of an unexpected hope, in giving thanks to God. Grace is not lived alone but is shared. Mary and Elizabeth are two women who bring with them the end of an expectation and the beginning of a fulfilment. They know how to see him even if he is hidden in the womb. For this they are blessed. As soon as she sees Mary come to her house Elizabeth rejoices deeply, even in her womb. The joy of the weak and poor is in knowing they have been visited by “servants” of the Lord, those servants that “have believed in the fulfilment of the Lord’s word.” The Word of God creates a new alliance in the world, an unusual alliance, between disciples of the Gospel and the poor.

Memory of Jesus crucified