Blessed are you among women…

(4th Sunday of Advent, Year C)
The Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Advent gives us the scene of the ‘Visitation’, one of the Joyful Mysteries we pray in the Rosary. 
Elizabeth’s experience of her baby (John the Baptist) leaping in her womb parallels that of Rebekah in Genesis 25.  As Rebekah’s experience signalled the pre-eminence of Jacob over his older brother Esau (Gen 25:22-23), so the similar experience of Elizabeth was a sign that Jesus would be greater than his older cousin.  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 what Elizabeth said of Mary that she is ‘blessed among women’. 
Elizabeth 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 are at ChristMasses on the 25th                     Fr Michael

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