December 20, 2015: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:39-45)
I think that most of us recognize the words “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” in this reading. Elizabeth shouts this joyful phrase as Mary enters her home for a visit. It is quite a greeting! I can’t think of the last time anyone greeted me with as much love, joy and admiration! We say Elizabeth’s words over and over each time we say a rosary – every time we take a moment to utter a Hail Mary prayer for strength or inspiration. At times, it is so automatic that I don’t allow myself to feel what the words are saying. Elizabeth expressed her joy and actually FELT the infant in her own womb leap at the sight of her friend and cousin, Mary. That is what love feels like. That is what the expectation of something very good ahead feels like.
The Christ-child’s birth is just ahead! As you continue to prepare the way of the Lord in your daily life, focus on ways that you actually FEEL the anticipation and the love that is building inside yourself. Take some time to DO something this week that shows how the love of Christ feels to someone who may seem sad or unsure of what lies ahead.