Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.
For the word of God will never fail. ”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town
where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth.
At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.
Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?
When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.
You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.
For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.
When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son.
And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.
When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father.
But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”
“What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.”