Franciscan Crown Part II – The Visitation

“And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived* a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;

for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,

where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. ” (Luke 1:36-40 )

The Second Mystery is the visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. There are a few things that are interesting about this particular passage in Luke :

First, note the use of the language. “has also conceived a son in her old age and is in the sixth month” that bears testament to idea that life begins even then at conception. Since this came from the angel as part of the Annunciation to Mary, we also know that this is the true sign that God confirms the idea that life indeed begins at conception.

Second, Mary would have been pregnant as well and there would have been an overlapping 3 months between Mary’s conception, and Elizabeth’s final trimester of pregnancy.

Mary goes to serve her cousin and has a journey into “the hill country” so she also has a little exercise in front of her this journey at the time was no small feat.. it was nearly 100 miles from Nazareth to Judea.. This would not be an easy journey from the beginning.

Consider the difficulty involved. Surely, Mary was not comfortable and imagine traveling that distance on a donkey. This was a something big.

So why did she go ? They were family.. I am sure that at some interval they would have seen each other, and had reunions. But Mary went to her cousin to serve. Her cousin was older,, and her pregnancy would have weighed greatly on her and on Zachariah her husband as well. We could tell from the scripture that Mary ” entered the house of Zachariah ” then went to her cousin. It could be inferred that Elizabeth might have been spending a good deal of time in bed or at least resting and probably did not have energy to hurry to meet Mary when she first arrived.

Mary stayed until John was born. Serving her cousin and caring for her and her husband.. In doing so Mary provided the perfect model of surrender, service and charity.

The Second Mystery … The Visitation.

We meditate on charity.

Heavenly Father, ask for pardon for our sins against Charity.

We ask forgiveness for not bearing patiently with others,

for those times when we might have not heeded the cry of the needs of our brothers and sisters,

for those times when we have not lived the Rule of Life,

for when we did not bring life to the Gospel, nor Gospel to life.

We pray for the gift of Charity in our hearts and souls,

so that we will both have a greater love of God in our hearts,

and in our brothers and sisters.

Our Father who art in heaven…..

May God give you the gift of His peace !

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