A Women’s Feast?

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

May 31, 2019

Click here for readings

Today, in Mercy, we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation, when a newly-pregnant Mary travels to be with her shockingly pregnant older cousin, Elizabeth. Although a universal feast, it is certainly a feast for women to treasure.

Visitation
The Carmignano Visitation, a unique masterpiece by one of sixteenth-century Italy’s greatest painters, Jacopo da Pontormo (1494-1557)

The Gospel is replete with the quiet but powerful understandings women share with one another:

  • the haste to support one another
  • the blessing and bolstering of each other’s faith
  • the shared joy to cause a baby’s leap in the womb
  • the desire for mercy and justice for the suffering
  • the “staying with” until need’s end

Of course, men too experience many of these holy sensibilities, but today most certainly invites women to celebrate the gifts of God within their bodies, minds and spirits.

Perhaps we might pray on these things while watching this movie clip of the imagined scene:


Music: Two selections for this wonderful Feastday:

Ave Maria (Schubert) sung in German, as Schubert wrote it, by the incomparable Marian Anderson


Magnificat (Bach) Imagine composing this powerful first movement based on only a single word: “Magnificat”

Magnificat

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/053118.cfm

Visitation

Today, in Mercy, we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that sacred act of hospitality to Elizabeth and to all of us who long for the coming of Christ in our lives. In this Gospel, Mary offers the most lyrical masterpiece of theology ever delivered – the Magnificat. For our prayer today, we might simply savor these words, replete with meaning and challenge. 

The Magnificat, a song of hope and encouragement for those who are poor and disenfranchised, is considered a sacramental prayer among Nicaraguans. Let’s pray for them today as their country once again experiences tremendous political turmoil.

Music: Latin Magnificat sung by the Daughters of Mary

 

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.