The angel Gabriel, in the mystery of the Annunciation, informed the Mother of God that her cousin Elizabeth had miraculously conceived, and was then pregnant with a son who was to be the precursor of the Messiah.
“Mary therefore arose,” saith St. Luke, “and with haste went into the hilly country into a city of Judea, and, entering into the house of Zachary, saluted Elizabeth.” What a blessing did the presence of the God-man bring to this house, the first which he honored in His humanity with His visit! But Mary is the instrument and means by which He imparts to it His divine benediction, to show us that she is a channel through which He delights to communicate to us His graces, and to encourage us to ask them of Him through her intercession.
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, and the Infant in her womb conceived so great a joy as to leap and exult. . . . In raptures of astonishment, Elizabeth pronounced her blessed above all other women, and cried out, “Whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Reflection. — Whilst with the Church we praise God for the mercies and wonders which He wrought in this mystery, we ought to apply ourselves to the imitation of the virtues of which Mary sets us a perfect example. From her we ought particularly to learn the lessons by which we shall sanctify our visits and conversation, actions which are to so many Christians the sources of innumerable dangers and sins.
Illustration and text from Pictorial Lives of the Saints With Reflections for Every Day in the Year (New York: Benziger Bros., 1922).