Saturday, May 31, 2014

FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

PRAYER OF THE DAY

The Magnificat

My soul doth magnify the Lord:
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour
Because He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaid:
for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is His Name.
And His mercy is from generation until generations, to them that fear Him.
He hath showed might with His arm:
He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the lowly.
He hath filled the hungry with good things:
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.


DAILY MASS READINGS

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reading
ZEP 3:14-18A

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
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.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

Or ROM 12:9-16

Brothers and sisters:

Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;
do not be wise in your own estimation.


Responsorial Psalm
IS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.

R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.

R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!

R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.


Gospel
LK 1:39-56

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 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.”

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


SAINT OF THE DAY

May 31

The Visitation

This is a fairly late feast, going back only to the 13th or 14th century. It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The present date of celebration was set in 1969 in order to follow the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25) 
and precede the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24).

Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. 
Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, 
is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages.

It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist’s account of this meeting. Rather, Luke, speaking for the Church, gives a prayerful poet’s rendition of the scene. Elizabeth’s praise of Mary as “the mother of my Lord” can be viewed as the earliest Church’s devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth’s (the Church’s) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God’s words.

Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).
Here Mary herself (like the Church) traces all her greatness to God.


OFFICE OF READINGS

O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Today we are celebrating the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
come, let us sing to the Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

Today we are celebrating the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
come, let us sing to the Lord.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

Today we are celebrating the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
come, let us sing to the Lord.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts forever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

Today we are celebrating the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
come, let us sing to the Lord.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Today we are celebrating the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
come, let us sing to the Lord.


Hymn

Hail, of paradise the portal!
Tree of Life regained, immortal;
Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
On our life’s way brightly shinest;
Us from God’s just anger savest,
Who to man our Saviour gavest.
Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
Thither sinners haste to gather;
Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
From the final wrath tremendous,
Mother of our Christ, defend us.
Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
Who the name of Mary bearest;
In thy bright illumination
Pales each star and constellation.
Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
Every spirit bow before thee.


Psalm 23 (24)
The Lord comes to his temple

The Virgin Mary received blessings from the Lord 
and reward from the God who saved her.
Alleluia.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.
Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

The Virgin Mary received blessings from the Lord 
and reward from the God who saved her.
Alleluia.


Psalm 45 (46)
God, our refuge and our strength

The Most High has made holy the place where he dwells.
Alleluia.

The Lord is our refuge and our strength,
a true help in our troubles.
Therefore we do not fear,
even when the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
the waves roar and foam
and rise up to shake the mountains.
The streams of the river give joy to the city of God,
the holy dwelling-place of the Most High.
God is within it, it will not be shaken;
God will give help as the day dawns.
The nations are in turmoil and kingdoms totter:
at the sound of his voice, the earth flows like water.
The Lord of strength is with us,
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come and see the works of the Lord,
who has done wonders on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the world:
he tramples the bow, shatters weapons, and burns the shields with fire.
Stop and see that I am God:
I will be exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.
The Lord of strength is with us,
the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

The Most High has made holy the place where he dwells.
Alleluia.


Psalm 86 (87)
Jerusalem, mother of all nations

Of you are told glorious things, O Virgin Mary!
Alleluia.

Its foundations are set on the sacred mountains –
the Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all the tents of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, city of God!
I shall count Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me.
The Philistines, Tyrians, Ethiopians –
all have their birthplace here.
Of Zion it will be said “Here is the birthplace of all people:
the Most High himself has set it firm.”
The Lord shall write in the book of the nations:
“Here is their birthplace.”
They will sing as in joyful processions:
“All my being springs from you.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Of you are told glorious things, O Virgin Mary!
Alleluia.


Mary stored up all these words, alleluia,
– and pondered them in her heart. Alleluia.


First Reading
Song of Songs 2:8-14,8:6-7

I hear my Beloved.
See how he comes
leaping on the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My Beloved is like a gazelle,
like a young stag.
See where he stands
behind our wall.
He looks in at the window,
he peers through the lattice.
My Beloved lifts up his voice,
he says to me,
‘Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth.
The season of glad songs has come,
the cooing of the turtledove is heard
in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs
and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance.
Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock,
in the coverts of the cliff,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet
and your face is beautiful.’
Set me like a seal on your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is strong as death,
jealousy as relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire,
a flame of the Lord himself.
Love no floods can quench,
no torrents drown.
Were a man to offer all the wealth of his house to buy love,
contempt is all he would purchase.


Responsory

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out with a loud voice,
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? Alleluia.

I tell you, when your greeting sounded in my ears,
the child in my womb leapt for joy.
Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? Alleluia.


Second Reading
A sermon
by St Bede the Venerable

Mary proclaims the greatness of the Lord working in her soul

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour. With these words Mary first acknowledges the special gifts she has been given. Then she recalls God’s universal favors, bestowed unceasingly on the human race.

When a man devotes all his thoughts to the praise and service of the Lord, he proclaims God’s greatness. His observance of God’s commands, moreover, shows that he has God’s power and greatness always at heart. His spirit rejoices in God his savior and delights in the mere recollection of his creator who gives him hope for eternal salvation.

These words are often for all God’s creations, but especially for the Mother of God. She alone was chosen, and she burned with spiritual love for the son she so joyously conceived. Above all other saints, she alone could truly rejoice in Jesus, her savior, for she knew that he who was the source of eternal salvation would be born in time in her body,
 in one person both her own son and her Lord.

For the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Mary attributes nothing to her own merits. She refers all her greatness to the gift of the one whose essence is power and whose nature is greatness, 
for he fills with greatness and strength the small and the weak who believe in him.

She did well to add: and holy is his name, to warn those who heard, and indeed all who would receive his words, that they must believe and call upon his name. For they too could share in everlasting holiness and true salvation according to the words of the prophet: and it will come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 
This is the name she spoke of earlier: and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

Therefore it is an excellent and fruitful custom of holy Church that we should sing Mary’s hymn at the time of evening prayer. By meditating upon the incarnation, our devotion is kindled, and by remembering the example of God’s Mother, we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue. Such virtues are best achieved in the evening. We are weary after the day’s work and worn out by our distractions. The time for rest is near, and our minds are ready for contemplation.


Responsory

’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, alleluia.

Come and hear:
I will tell what God has done for my soul.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, alleluia.


Canticle
Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord,
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

Almighty, ever-living God,
you inspired the Blessed Virgin Mary,
when she was carrying your Son,
to visit Elizabeth.
Grant that, always docile to the voice of the Spirit,
we may, together with Our Lady, glorify your Name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.



Friday, May 30, 2014

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Prayer for the Intercession of St. Joan of arc

Dear Sweet Patron Saint,
I implore you in the name of God to intercede on my behalf and guide me.
Help me to be strong when people are against me and question my belief in God.
Help me to stand by my faith and my decisions concerning my faith.
I wish to do only God's will,
and I beg of you, O Patron Saint,
to help keep me on His true path,
and guide me in His will.
I need friends now, more than ever before,
and I choose God as my first and foremost best friend, above all others.
But I also choose you as a close and special friend to relate to and to talk to.
Please counsel me by any means necessary that is in the will of God to do.

Please let me have the wisdom and understanding to receive his message
and the patience and virtue to listen so that I may understand his word.

St. Joan, Pray for us.

Amen.

DAILY MASS READINGS

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Reading
ACTS 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
“Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
“This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.”
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
“If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.”
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.


Responsorial Psalm
PS 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. God is king of all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.

R. God is king of all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.

R. God is king of all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.

R. God is king of all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.


Gospel
JN 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

SAINT OF THE DAY

May 30

St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431)

Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.

Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.

During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of OrlĂ©ans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. 
The English resented France's military success–to which Joan contributed.

On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. 
A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.

Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life "offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action" because her spiritual insight is that there should be a "unity of heaven and earth."

Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies.