4th Sunday of Advent
The fourth week of Advent always feature Mary the Mother of Our Lord, and this Sunday’s Gospel gives us the scene of the ‘Visitation’. When Mary visited Elizabeth who was pregnant, John the Baptist leapt in the womb of Elizabeth. The incident parallels that of Rebekah in Genesis 25. Rebekah’s experience signalled the pre-eminence of Jacob over his older brother Esau (Gen 25:22-23). Now, this signals the pre-eminence of Jesus over his cousin John. When John grew up he tells us he is not worthy to remove the sandal strap of Jesus.
The intention of St Luke’s account here is to make it clear that Jesus is the expected Messiah. Enlightened by the prophetic spirit, Elizabeth is aware of Mary’s secret: she is the mother of her ‘Lord’, that is to say, of the Messiah. This is Elizabeth said of Mary that she is ‘blessed among women’. She then went on to praise Mary’s unhesitating submission to God’s plan for her and her great faith: ‘…blessed is she who believed….. ‘
Indeed blessed are those who believe – for believing brings hope, hoping challenges us to love and loving makes a place for Jesus in our heart.
May the peace and love that is the Gift of Christmas find a place in you this Christmas, and beyond. See you at our Christ-Masses.