The Gospel

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Today the Church celebrates : The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Greek Homily from the 4th century: “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”



Letter to the Romans 12,9-16.

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.

Is 12,2-6.

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,
and say on that day: Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name.
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!


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1,39-56.

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 promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.


Commentary of the day :

A Greek Homily from the 4th century
wrongly attributed to St. Gregory of Neocaesarea, who is called the Thaumaturge, no. 2

“Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”


“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” That was the effect of Mary’s voice: it filled Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit. Like an eternal spring, with her prophetic words she sets forth a river of graces for her cousin, and she causes the feet of the child that is held back in her womb to move and to thrill: the figures of a marvelous dance. When Mary, who is full of grace, appears, everything overflows with joy.

“Then Elizabeth cried out in a loud voice: ‘Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’” You are blest among women. You are the beginning of our regeneration. You have opened for us free access to paradise, and you have chased away our former sufferings. No, after you, the multitude of women will no longer be enough. Eve’s heirs will no longer fear her old curse or the pain of childbirth. For Jesus Christ, our human ity’s redeemer, the Savior of all of nature, the spiritual Adam who heals the wounds of the earthly human being, Jesus Christ comes forth from your sacred womb. “Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb.”

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Today the Church celebrates : St. Joan of Arc

Saint Augustine : “I have given you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”



Acts of the Apostles 20,17-27.

From Miletus he had the presbyters of the church at Ephesus summoned. When they came to him, he addressed them, "You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes. I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus. But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God's grace. "But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.

Psalms 68,10-11.20-21.

You claimed a land as your own, O God;
your people settled there. There you poured abundant rains, God, graciously given to the poor in their need.
Blessed be the Lord day by day, God, our salvation, who carries us. Selah
Our God is a God who saves; escape from death is in the LORD God's hands.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 17,1-11.

When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.

Meaning of Gospel

In Christianity, gospel means "good news". Received opinion holds that the word gospel derives from the Old English god "good", and spell "news", a translation of the Greek word ευαγγέλιον, euangelion (eu good, -angelon message) (from this word comes the term "evangelist"). However, the word corresponding to "good" in Old English had a long vowel, and would normally develop into a MnE *goospel, leading some scholars to hold that the Old English term was not a translation of the Greek "good news," but rather a fresh coinage, "message concerning God."