The Blessed Virgin Mary visits her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth and the unborn Jesus Christ is miraculously recognized by Elizabeth and the unborn John the Baptist. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by growing in the Virtue of Piety so he can more fully honor the Holy Mother of God and by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit so that he can more perfectly practice the presence of God. 

Commentary

The Blessed Virgin Mary, having accepted God’s will for her to become the “Mother of God”, and informed of her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy, travels for four days, some 80 miles, to the hill country of Judea. Though the Gospels are silent, St. Joseph probably guided the Blessed Virgin Mary on this arduous and dangerous journey. The Blessed Virgin Mary was a teenager who was betrothed (married) to St. Joseph, who, was much older, and as the male head of a Jewish family, had absolute authority over her; it would have been disobedient, imprudent, and unloving to disappear for at least three months (Lk 1:56) without permission from her husband.

There are mysterious echoes of the Old Testament in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s journey.  In the Old Testament, King David travels to the hill country of Judea to reclaim the lost Ark of the (Old) Covenant, which is overshadowed by God’s presence (Ex 40:35); Mary travels to the same area and is the Ark of the New Covenant in which the Son of God resides. King David finds the Ark and is overwhelmed by feelings of unworthiness; Elizabeth has the same response when she greets the Blessed Virgin Mary. King David leaps with joy in the presence of the Ark; John the Baptist leaps with joy in Elizabeth’s womb. King David returns the Ark of the (Old) Covenant to Jerusalem; Jesus will return to Jerusalem and, in His Passion and Resurrection, establish the New Covenant. 

Without being told the Blessed Virgin Mary is in the very early stages of pregnancy, Elizabeth immediately recognizes (“Blessed are you…blessed is the fruit of your womb”) Mary’s miraculous conception. Elizabeth is divinely inspired to exalt Mary as, “the mother of my Lord.” Mysteriously, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s voice is heard by John the Baptist, still three months away from birth in Elizabeth’s womb, which causes John to leap with joy.  

Be awed by Jesus Christ  

The Cardinal Virtue of Justice is giving each his proper due. Marvel at how Jesus, the perfection of Justice, confirms Justice in the Visitation: the Blessed Virgin Mary is Vindicated (a part of Justice) by the astounding greeting of Elizabeth; Elizabeth is Venerated (a part of Justice) by the obedient and loving visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Son of God, Jesus is Worshiped (Religion, a part of Justice), by the reverent response of Elizabeth and the unborn John.  

Seek the Blessed Virgin Mary’s intercession

Realize: While the beautiful devotion of the Rosary has been prayed in some form for 1000 years, the key parts of ,“Hail Mary, full of Grace..”, and “Blessed are you among women…”, are from Gabriel’s and Elizabeth’s words recorded 2000 years ago in Luke’s Gospel. 

Believe: Reflect upon Praying in Communion with the Holy Mother of God (CCC 2673-2682, 2708, 1674).

Pray: Jesus, Son of Mary, help me build the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I grow in my devotion to Your Mother and I receive many blessings due to her intercession on my behalf to You.

Practice the Presence of God

Realize: During The Visitation, Elizabeth offers stunning revelations about Jesus and Mary, and Elizabeth, the infant John, and perhaps St. Joseph and Zechariah, have incredible  mystical experiences of awe at being in the presence of Jesus, though only weeks old and still in the womb. 

Believe: Reflect upon The Visitation (CCC 148, 495, 717).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so You allow me to draw closer to You and I can experience Your astounding Presence in my daily life.