December 20, 2009: 4th Sunday of Advent
Mary arose and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my God should come to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by God would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:39-45)
Prior to this passage from St. Luke’s gospel, we have the astounding story of Mary being visited by the archangel Gabriel. Gabriel brought the news to Mary that she would conceive a child and name him Jesus. Mary also learns from Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth is pregnant. Mary goes to spend time with Elizabeth who is much older than she. Mary could have stayed home and taken care of herself. However, she wanted to be with Elizabeth to help her in any way she could. Neither of these women had any idea what their children, Jesus and John, would mean to human history. They were, though, women of deep faith and trust, loving and caring people.
We have something in common with Mary. We, too, are called to bring Jesus to others. We do it through our lives. As you celebrate Christmas, find ways to bring the gift of Jesus to other people. While on break from school think of how you, like Mary, can be present to your family, your friends and those in your neighborhood, sharing love, peace and joy with them. To be present to others is truly a gift!