Meditation on the Visitation

Richard Salbato

Before Each Hail Mary:

1.  The Virgin Mary, now the Mother of God and the real Ark of the Covenant, contemplates what the Angel told Her about Her cousin, Elizabeth, being in the sixth month with child. Instead of relishing in being the Mother of God, She worries that her cousin might need Her help. She asks Joseph to take her to visit her cousin right away.

2. Zachary, a high priest and Elizabeth, his wife were both elderly. They had never had children and this saddened them greatly. When Zachary took his turn to offer sacrifice in the Holy of Holies of the Temple, an Angel appeared to him, and told him that Elizabeth would bear him a son, and that he should name him, John. “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.” the angel said. John will have the spirit and power of Elias. Because Zachary did not believe the Angel, Gabriel, he was struck dumb and could not talk.

3.  When Mary and Joseph came to their house in Juda, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt with joy and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. At that moment John was baptized and would be born without original sin. Now the family of Zachary had entered the Kingdom with Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

4.  Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth knew immediately that this was the Mother of God, and shouted out:

“Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why would the Mother of my Lord come to me?”

This was the first recognition that Mary was the Mother of God and that God had become Man. Mary did not deny it, but answered with Her great canticle of love:

“My soul magnifies the Lord and My spirit rejoices in God my savior, etc.”

5. “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Think about that statement. Mary is prophesying that we will be able to see and understand God more through Her than with our own efforts. It turned out to be true at the council of Ephesus, where the word, Theotokos, or “God bearer”, helped to explain that Christ is God in the very best way.

6.  In Luke, we then find that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three more months. (Luke 1:56) That being the case, we can assume that Mary stayed with Elizabeth right up until John was born. Elizabeth was in her sixth month, as the Angel told Mary. Six months and three months are nine months. Now we have a three month pregnant Mary, who I see taking the newly born John into Her arms and next to the child, Jesus, in Her womb. We need now to contemplate the great union between Christ and John and their later meeting 30 years in the future.

7.  Zachary got his speech back just in time to prophesy saying “God has visited us and brought redemption to his people.” Looking at his son, he said: “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest, for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways…”

8.  When Herod vowed to kill all the first born children of Israel, Elizabeth took her three month old son to the desert and trusted that God would take care of him. John was raised by the animals and taught by Angels until he came out of the desert years later to preach of the coming Kingdom of God.

9. When Joseph came to pick up Mary three months later, he saw that she was pregnant and an Angel of the Lord appeared to him, informing him that the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was the awaited Messiah.

10. During these nine months of pregnancy Mary was the Tabernacle of God, in a more perfect way than He is now in all the Tabernacles throughout the world.  In Her was Emmanuel (God with us) and the Christ (the redeemer).