Reading I


A reading from the Book of the Prophet Zephaniah (Zep 3:14-18a)


Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!

Sing joyfully, O Israel!

Be glad and exult with all your heart,

O daughter Jerusalem!

The LORD has removed the judgment against you,

he has turned away your enemies;

The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,

you have no further misfortune to fear.

On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:

Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!

The LORD, your God, is in your midst,

a mighty saviour;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

and renew you in his love,

He will sing joyfully because of you,

as one sings at festivals.


Responsorial Psalm (Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6)

  1. (6) Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

God indeed is my saviour;

            I am confident and unafraid.

My strength and my courage is the LORD,

            and he has been my saviour.

With joy you will draw water

            at the fountain of salvation.

  1. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;

            among the nations make known his deeds,

            proclaim how exalted is his name.

  1. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

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!

  1. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.



See Lk 1:45

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.

Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed

that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.



From the Gospel according to Luke (Lk 1:39-56)


Mary set out and travelled 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 Saviour,

for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,

he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months

and then returned to her home.



The Evangelist recounts that “Mary arose and went with haste” (v. 39) to Elizabeth: with haste, not with distress, not anxiously, but with haste, in peace. “She arose”: a gesture full of concern. She could have stayed at home to prepare for the birth of her son, but instead she takes care of others before herself, showing through her deeds that she is already a disciple of that Lord whom she carries in her womb. The event of Jesus’ birth began in this way, with a simple gesture of charity; after all, authentic charity is always the fruit of God’s love. (Angelus, 23 December 2018)