On the feast day 31 May, pause and reflect on ways we encounter the ‘living God’ in our daily visitations. Mary gives us a good example of this when she experiences the ‘visitation’ with her cousin Elizabeth. They have an encounter with each other and the Living God through their own presence and in the new life they both carry.
“Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, in a city square, during work, on a journey …” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium.
Zeph 3:14-18 The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst.
Or Rom 12:9-16 Contribute to the needs of God's people, and practise hospitality.
Is 12:2-6: R Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Alleluia, alleluia! Blessed are you O Virgin Mary, for your firm believing, that the promises of the Lord would be fulfilled. Alleluia!
Gospel Luke 1:39-56 Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?
This reading includes The Magnificat in which Mary proclaims the greatness of God and the spirituality of the poor. Perhaps set aside some time today on this special feast to remember the presence of Mary in our daily lives and on ways we encounter God living among us.
Prayer for concluding the Marian month of May.
Earlier this year the Secretariat for the Synod wrote to all bishops’ conferences and invited us to arrange a celebration of a moment of Marian prayer in preparation for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. This is intended to coincide with the memorial of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the conclusion of the Marian Month on Wednesday 31 May.
Below is the prayer composed for this day. All parishes and schools are invited to pray together this Marian shrine prayer.
Memorial of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary & conclusion of the Marian Month.
Prayer for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
E te Atua aroha mā te whakapuaki
i tō mātou whakapono
Loving God in professing the faith
In which we are united as your people
we unite ourselves with the yes
of your mother Mary, the first disciple.
E te Atua, te Puna o ngā mea ora katoa,
te kaihomai o ngā mea pai katoa
O God, Source of all life, giver of all that is good
We, your people of Aotearoa New Zealand
meet in the bonds of your love.
Keep us faithful in our response to your love.
E te Atua aroha, ka karangahia houtia mātou
e koe ki ngā hua o te ora.
Loving God, you call us anew to the abundance of life.
In these years of renewed synodal reflection
we are listening for your voice.
Now we pray for those who will take our voice
to the October Synod dialogue in Rome.
E te Atua, mā roto i te korowai o Maria
te whāea o tāu tamaiti, tō mātou whaea anō hoki
O God, under the patronage of Mary,
the mother of your son, and our mother
May we grow as people of communion, participation and mission.
We pray that those entrusted with leadership of your church will be open,
that together we may enlarge the space of your tent in our land and in our world.
I tēnei wā, ka whakahoungia e mātou tēnei oati tapu
We pray, turning to Mary with new fervour.
In union with her Son Our Lord Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit God forever and ever.
Download a copy of this prayer HERE
For further information and images of various Marian shrines around Aotearoa New Zealand visit the link to Te Ara a Maria web page HERE
Image on the main slider is a photo of a painted mural inside a bus shelter outside St Bernadette's school, Forbury Rd, Dunedin.