AFTER LEARNING from the angel Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth was with child, Mary hastened to visit her that she might be of service to her during this time.
Arriving at Zachary’s village home in the hills of Judea, Our Lady saluted Elizabeth who, upon hearing the greeting, felt the infant in her womb leap for joy. She herself was immediately filled with the Holy Spirit and, in a burst of prophetic enthusiasm, cried out: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who has believed, because the things promised her by the Lord shall be accomplished.”
At these inspired words of Elizabeth, Mary’s spirit was lifted into ecstasy and she, too, sang a song of praise: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; for, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name; and for generation upon generation His mercy is to those who fear Him. He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the Lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has given help to Israel, His servant, mindful of His mercy-even as He spoke to our fathers to Abraham and to his posterity forever.” (Luke 1 46:55 and 1 Samuel 2:1-11)
Mary remained about three months, until the birth of John. Joseph, when he learned Mary was with child, planned to break off their engagement quietly. But an angel came to him in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife, for the child she was to bear was from the Holy Spirit. Obeying this inspiration, he at once completed the marriage arrangements and took her into his home.
Meditation: In the life of Mary her love for God overflowed into a love for men. God was her only love. But it included God’s creatures also. Service to her cousin Elizabeth was a manifestation of Mary’s love for God. We cannot claim to love God unless that love extend also to God’s creatures, our fellow men. Does our helpfulness to our friends and acquaintances who are in trouble reflect the same love that Mary showed in the Visitation?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 5-6. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, MA following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM. NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.