4th Sunday of Advent
The Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the most significant Advent people of the New Testament. In this Gospel account of the Visitation we see that she sensed Elizabeth’s need and responded accordingly by reaching out and being present to her. Mary was thus a true disciple because she shared Christ’s presence, thereby making a significant difference in her cousin’s life. She literally took Christ to Elizabeth. This is the most important challenge to each of us who claim to know Christ, to share His presence with everyone we meet. But how can we do this?
This is done by behaving decently and giving good example. If we do this we can radiate Christ’s light to those with whom we live and work and spend our leisure time. As those who know Christ our lifestyle should stand out from those of the crowd. Where others gossip and lie, we are honest and discreet. We are faithful to Christ’s teaching. We easily forget that there are endless possibilities for sharing Christ’s presence with other people. While there are many ways to prepare for Christmas, the simplest, but usually the most challenging, is to be conscious of Christ’s abiding presence in our own lives and to be willing to share his presence with our own families, colleagues and friends. To be aware of his presence in our lives just as Mary was and to bring his presence to others, just as Mary did, we need like her, to answer with an unqualified Yes to his invitation to discipleship.
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”