Friday, October 12, 2007

The Visitation

The theme of the 2007 Respect Life Program is The Infant in My Womb Leaped for Joy.

[The angel Gabriel had just told Mary the extraordinary news of her immaculate conception.]

“’And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.’
Mary said, ‘Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.’
Then the angel departed from her.

During those days Mary set out 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.’

And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
My spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
Behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
And holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age
To those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm,
Dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
But lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things;
The rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant,
Remembering his mercy,
According to his promised to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his descendants forever.’

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.”

Luke 1:36-56

“Annunciation and Visitation”
Unknown master, Flemish, c. 1525
Oil on oak panel, 99 x 33 cm (each)
Groeninge Museum, Bruges

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