“A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet.”
A reading from the Book of Revelation (Revelation11:19a:12:1-6a.10ab)
God’s temple in heaven was opened. And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another sign appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tails wept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm45:10.11.12.16 (R.10b)
R/. On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
The daughters of kings are those whom you favour.
On your tight stands the queen in gold of Ophir. R.
Listen, O daughter; pay heed and give ear;
forget your own people and your father’s house. R.
So will the king desire your beauty.
He is your lord, pay homage to him. R.
They are escorted amid gladness and joy;
they pass within the palace of the king. R.
“Christ the first fruits, then those who belong to Christ.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (I Corinthians 15:20-27)
Brethren: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For a sin Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. “For God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”
The word of the Lord.
Alleluia. Mary has been taken up into heaven; the host of angels rejoices. Alleluia.
“He who is mighty has done great things for me, he has exalted those of low degree.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 1:39-56)
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, 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 from the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
The Gospel of the Lord.
No one likes being poor, and we often look at poverty as something that is the most unfortunate. Yet, there is an inseparable bond between God and the poor, and God so identified with it that he became poor for our sakes. Mary was one of those poor ones, the lowly handmaid of the Lord. God proclaimed her blessed and glorious and exalted her to become the mother of Jesus our saviour. Everyone, even the materially rich, are called today to imitate Mary’s humble submission to God. We become instruments of salvation in God’s hands when we submit our entire lives to God in humble service of those in need.