The Visitation

Read Luke 1:39-56

Focal Verse

"At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea"

Luke 1:39

Bible Study

One of the things that stands out in this Gospel is Luke’s ability to paint ‘word pictures’. His gift of communication has been the source of inspiration for many artists, poets and saints. It is only in this gospel that we find the 4 beautifully recorded canticles (poetic songs) which you will come across as you read these first two chapters. Their title is taken from the Latin equivalent of the first words of the song: Our Lady's Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), Zechariah's Benedictus (Luke 1:68-79), the Angel's Gloria (Luke 2:13-14) and Simeon's Nunc Dimittis (Luke 2:28-35). We will be able to read the Magnificat and the Benedictus  (even in Maltese) from the ceramic tiles in the courtyard of Church of the Visitation and the Church of John the Baptist, both in the village of Ein Karem, close to Jerusalem.

Key Word: "Hurried"

In today’s passage, notice the word 'hurried' that occurs when Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth in the village which today in identified with Ein Karem in modern Israel. This same word  ‘hurried’ will be used to describe the Shepherd’s haste to visit the new born-baby Jesus in Bethlehem after the world’s first Christmas Gloria was sung by the choir of angels.

Reflection and Application

How many Christians make haste today where the things of God are concerned? Surely if anything merits haste - so the evangelist is discreetly telling us - then it is the things of God (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, The Infancy Narratives, p.79).


Lord, may I not become lazy when it comes to my spiritual life and to responding to your grace but with Mary may I pray “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour …." (Luke 1:46).

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