In this second week of Advent, voices from east London help us meditate on the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth - the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.
Hear them explain how meditating on the Visitation inspires them to share in the generous hospitality and care of these two women - and to pray for those who are physically isolated during this pandemic.
Click here for an introduction to the People's Rosary Project, and a guide to how to pray the Rosary
Click here for the page on the first Joyful Mystery - the Annunciation
Click here for the page on the third Joyful Mystery - the Birth of Christ
Click here for the page on the fourth and fifth Joyful Mysteries - the Presentation and Finding in the Temple
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Elizabeth
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
"And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, 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 by the Lord.”
And Mary said,
"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
"Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
"His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
"He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever."
How does this story speak to us in a time of social distancing?
School chaplain Sr Therese Bora shares how this Mystery leads her into deeper prayer for those who are physically isolated at this time - that they may know God's "unseen visitation".
How does the Rosary help us experience God's "visitation" when we cannot worship together?
Rámond Mitchell describes how this prayer has helped him deepen his sense of God's presence in his home, especially during lockdown
How is God calling me to "visit" others with his compassion and joy?
Caroline Alfred speaks about Our Lady's care for her elderly cousin, and the example it sets for each believer.
In the Magnificat we find the secret of our joy.
Mary, lowly and humble, starts from God’s greatness and despite her problems – which were not few – she is filled with joy, for she entrusts herself to the Lord in all things.
She reminds us that God can always work wonders if we open our hearts to him and to our brothers and sisters.
Let us think of the great witnesses of these lands: simple persons who trusted in God in the midst of persecution. They did not put their hope in the world, but in the Lord, and thus they persevered.
I would like to give thanks for these humble victors, these saints-next-door, who showed us the way. Their tears were not in vain; they were a prayer that rose to heaven and nurtured the hope of this people.
Pope Francis, Apostolic visit to Romania
You are invited to pray the Rosary now.
Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus, whom you, O Virgin, took to Elizabeth.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
If you have not prayed the Rosary before, you can read our introductory page here.
Musical reflection: Jina la Bwana (African Magnificat) by Notre Dame Folk Choir
Next week, we will hear reflections from Caroline Alfred, Susan Graves and Javier Melian-Perez on the third Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: the Nativity of the Lord.
If you would like to pray the Rosary in an online group this Advent, email peoplesrosary [at] theology-centre.org
We are grateful for the support of the Lady Peel Trust in developing this project.