“Mary!” she exclaimed as she drew her close. “Dear Mary! What are you doing here?”
“Elisabeth!” Mary hugged her and at the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elisabeth gasped and clutched her stomach.
In a loud voice, she exclaimed, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear.”
Mary’s eyes widened in shock. Elisabeth knows? How could she know?
“But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Elisabeth asked, cupping Mary’s cheek with her hand. “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. You are blessed my child, because you have believed everything the Lord has told you.”
The realization that the Holy Spirit was even now speaking through Elisabeth, brought tears of joy to Mary’s eyes. God had confirmed Elisabeth’s pregnancy to her by letting her see Elisabeth with her own eyes. Today He was telling her that she, too, was with child. Mary did not know how or when it had happened. She only knew that she could feel the Holy Spirit working within her as well.
“My soul glorifies the Lord,” Mary said, raising her hands in worship, “and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.” She closed her eyes and lifted her hands to the heavens. “From now on, all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His name.” She joined hands with Elisabeth and they worshipped together, exalting God and praising Him for His mercy and His love. As the two women embraced again, Elisabeth silently chastised herself for not seeing to the needs of those who had brought Mary to her. She offered them bread and water for the rest of their journey, but they declined. They quickly retrieved Mary’s belongings and, after placing them beside her, assured her they would send a messenger to let her father know she had arrived safely.
Mary’s face grew hot with embarrassment as she watched her traveling companions depart. They had just witnessed her very private greeting with Elisabeth. She could tell by their stunned looks and quick departure that her revelations had made them uncomfortable. What would these friends of her father – her neighbours of Nazareth – report to Joseph? Could they begin to understand that she carried the Promise of Israel? She thanked them for their kindness and noticed as she spoke that those who only moments before had been unafraid to speak with her now would not even look at her. With sudden clarity, Mary knew that the road ahead was going to be very rough indeed.