This year, rather than repeating one of the two stories of the Annunciation (which are read in years A and B) we meditate on the Visitation. The focus is on Mary. Notice how her greeting sets everything in motion. Notice how she is called blessed three times in this short passage. That is why Christians call her the Blessed Virgin. The reason is her total cooperation with the will of God in the birth of his Divine Son. Luke makes it clear to us that Mary has been raised up by God to perform an essential task in the history of salvation. And so today we stand once again at the threshold of our salvation story. We stand with Mary, open with her to God’s plan. Let us thank God for the gift of Mary, the blessed one who opens the way. Let us give thanks for the Coming King who comes to us through her, his hands full of compassion and mercy. Like John in his mother’s womb let us, too, leap for joy. Let the Spirit transform us and fill us with new life.