Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“The LORD has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.” (Zephaniah 3:15.)

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Take heart, O Jerusalem, the Lord will take away your iniquities. The Lord will wash away the filth of his sons and daughters by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning. He will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your sins. Choiring angels shall encircle you, chanting, “Who is it that comes up all white and leaning upon her beloved?” For the soul that was formerly a slave has now accounted its Lord as its kinsman, and he, acknowledging its sincere purpose, will answer, “Ah, you are beautiful, my beloved, ah, you are beautiful — your teeth are like a flock of ewes to be shorn” — a sincere confession is a spiritual shearing. And further: “all of them big with twins,” signifying the twofold grace, either that perfected by water and the Spirit or that announced in the Old and in the New Testament. God grant that all of you, your course of fasting finished, mindful of the teaching, fruitful in good works, standing blameless before the spiritual bridegroom, may obtain the remission of your sins from God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be the glory forever and ever.” (Catechetical Lecture, 3.)

Almighty, ever-living God,
Who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary
was carrying Your Son in her womb,
inspired her to visit Elizabeth,
grant us, we pray, that,
faithful to the promptings of the Spirit,
we may magnify your greatness
with the Virgin Mary at all times.
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.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen