CHRISTMAS NOVENA 5.
Dec. 21: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Ambrose) AV summary (1:18s) & text.
Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the corresponding Antiphon, Opening prayer and Gospel reading of the Mass and the daily 2nd reading of the Divine Office for meditation.
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Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.
- Antiphon: Cfr Isa 7: 14; 8, 10
- Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:39–45: The Visitation
- Divine office Reading: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Ambrose)
The Lord and Ruler will be coming soon, and his name will be Emmanuel, because he will be God with us.
Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The angel Gabriel had announced the news of something that was as yet hidden and so, to buttress the Virgin Mary’s faith by means of a real example, he told her also that an old and sterile woman had conceived, showing that everything that God willed was possible to God.
When Mary heard this she did not disbelieve the prophecy, she was not uncertain of the message, she did not doubt the example: but happy because of the promise that had been given, eager to fulfil her duty as a cousin, hurried by her joy, she went up into the hill country.
Where could she hurry to except to the hills, filled with God as she was? The grace of the Holy Spirit does not admit of delays. And Mary’s arrival and the presence of her Son quickly show their effects: As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting her child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
See the careful distinction in the choice of words. Elizabeth was the first to hear the voice but her son John was the first to feel the effects of grace. She heard as one hears in the natural course of things; he leapt because of the mystery that was there. She sensed the coming of Mary, he the coming of the Lord — the woman knew the woman, the child knew the child. The women speak of grace while inside them grace works on their babies. And by a double miracle the women prophesy under the inspiration of their unborn children.
The infant leapt and the mother was filled with the Spirit. The mother was not filled before her son: her son was filled with the Holy Spirit and in turn filled his mother. John leapt and so did Mary’s spirit. John leapt and filled Elizabeth with the Spirit; but we know that Mary was not filled but her spirit rejoiced. For the Incomprehensible was working incomprehensibly within his mother. Elizabeth had been filled with the Spirit after she conceived, but Mary before, at the moment the angel had come. “Blessed are you,” said Elizabeth, “who believed”.
You too, my people, are blessed, you who have heard and who believe. Every soul that believes — that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognises his works.
Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, to rejoice in God. According to the flesh only one woman can be the mother of Christ but in the world of faith Christ is the fruit of all of us. For every soul can receive the Word of God if only it is pure and preserves itself in chastity and modesty.
The soul that has been able to reach this state proclaims the greatness of the Lord just as Mary did and rejoices in God its saviour just like her.
The Lord’s greatness is proclaimed, as you have read elsewhere, where it says Join me in magnifying the Lord. This does not mean that anything can be added to the Lord’s greatness by human words, but that he is magnified in us. Christ is the image of God and so any good or religious act that a soul performs magnifies that image of God in that soul, the God in whose likeness the soul itself was made. And thus the soul itself has some share in his greatness and is ennobled.
℟. ‘Blessed are you who have believed, because what has been promised to you by the Lord will be fulfilled.’ And Mary said,* My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
℣. Come and hear: I will tell what God has done for my soul.* My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
Hear in kindness, O Lord, the prayers of your people, that those who rejoice at the corning of your Only Begotten Son in our flesh, may, when at last he comes in glory, gain the reward of eternal life.
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
SEE AS WELL:
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 1. Dec. 17 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lp
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 2. Dec. 18 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lz
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 3. Dec. 19 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LK CHRISTMAS NOVENA 4. Dec. 20 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LT
AUDIO CREDIT: Alma Redemptoris Mater (Johannes Ockeghem c. 1410 – 1497) by Zefiro, Marian Antiphons, Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 in https://archive.org/details/Zefiro-MarianAntiphons_158
PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE: https://reliquariandotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/the-visitation.jpg
#CHRISTMASNOVENA 5. Dec. 21: The #Visitation of the #BlessedVirginMary (#StAmbrose).