and, givinga loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women; andblessed is the fruit of your womb!
How is it, that the mother ofmy Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting soundedin my ears,
the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessedare you, who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!
And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of theAnd Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit exults in God, my savior! He has looked uponhis servant, in her lowliness, and people, forever,
will call meblessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holyis his Name!
From age to age, his mercy extends to those who live inFrom age to age, his mercy extends to those who live in
his presence. He has acted with power and done wonders,and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put
downthe mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who aredowntrodden. He has filled the hungry with good
things, buthas sent the rich away empty. He held out his hand to Israel, hisservant, for he remembered his mercy,
even as he promised toour fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, andMary remained with Elizabeth about three months,
and then returned home.
Why did Mary visit ElizabethWhy did Mary visit Elizabethafter receiving the annunciation? The popular and pietistic
answeris, to help her cousin who hadconceived in her old age. Really?If so, wasn’t it cruel of Mary toabandon Elizabeth
and return home when Elizabeth was in herninth month and about to givebirth? So, why did she go? Whenone receives
an exceedingly incomprehensible experience,it is only human to seek outthe company of someone whohas had a similar
experience:to confide in, to open up one’sheart, to confirm, and whenit all sinks in, to celebrate! The moment Mary saw
the six month pregnant cousin, she knew her own experience to be true! At that moment, she could only break into a song
and dance(Magnificat)! The Visitation is all about two hearts celebrating God’s amazing break-in to their lives! Let’s not
reduce it to justa domestic help. (Of course,being a nice girl, Mary would have helped her cousin whileshe was there.
But that’s a prettyordinary detail.)
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