Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 2:1-10

Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;
 my strength is exalted in my God.¹

My mouth derides my enemies,
 because I rejoice in my victory.

“There is no Holy One like the Lord,
 no one besides you;
 there is no Rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
 let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
 and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
 but the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
 but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.
The barren has borne seven,
 but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
 he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
 he brings low, he also exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
 he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
 and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's,
 and on them he has set the world.

“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
 but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;
 for not by might does one prevail.
The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;
 the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
 he will give strength to his king,
 and exalt the power of his anointed.”

¹Mary expresses the same thought in The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), the Gospel reading for the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.

Psalm 113

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
 praise the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
 from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
 the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
 and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,
 who is seated on high,
who looks far down
 on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
 and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
 with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
 making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Romans 12:9-16b

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 1:39-57


In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” And Mary said,

My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,¹

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
 Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
 and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
 from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
 he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
 and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
 and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
 in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
 to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

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

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.

¹Hannah expresses the same thought in her song of praise for the birth of Samuel 1 Samuel 2:1-10, the Hebrew Scripture reading for the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Image credit: The Visitation by Domenico Ghirlandaio, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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