Homily for the fourth Sunday of Advent - Year C - Lk. 1:39-45


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

" In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, « Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. » "




Homily:


" In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. "


Christmas is near. In just four short days, we will celebrate the King of the Kings, who came to dwell in our midst in the poverty of the Crib of Bethléem! What will be our reward on this day of the Birth of our Savior -- joy or the sadness? The answer is simple: if we are waiting for the coming of the Lord with a sincere heart, full of love and of faith, then our reward will be the joy; otherwise, it will be the sadness...


Elizabeth is our model in the expectation of the Savior. She belonged to those many Jews who waited for Christ with this hope and faith without boundary which allows people to remain faithful to their Lord from generation in generation. Elizabeth was truly recompensed, before the birth of Christ, through graces without equal that were also shared by the little child she carried in her: "When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."


" She exclaimed with a loud cry, « Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. » "


Jesus never comes alone. Mary is always with him: "Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me ?" When our Lord Jesus comes in us, it is to be born again in us, who are his Body: "Unless be born of the water and of the Spirit, could no one enter in the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)


It means that, when Jesus is born, or, is born again in us, it is really ourselves who are born again into the eternal life in Christ. This is the eternal life that Jesus came to bring to us on earth. Now, we understand it very well: no one could be born by himself. For, in order to be born, in order to be brought into the world, we need an aide, our mother. So, when Jesus is born or is born again in us, it is by Mary that all of this is accomplished, with her and in her. That's why Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, so that Jesus could already be born in her and in John Baptist by the action of the Holy Spirit: "Unless be born of the water and of the Spirit, could no one enter in the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)


If all this was accomplished in Elizabeth and in John Baptist, there is no doubt that it also accomplished in Mary, since the instant of the Incarnation of the Word of God. It is what Elisabeth understood in the light of the Holy Spirit. And she declared it in these terms, praising the faith of Mary in the coming of the Lord of Lords: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." Yes! Mary is happy! She is happy in the Holy Spirit, her Spouse! Because she always believed and expected the Lord, she always waited for his coming with love! Her sharing is the joy, and not sadness!


It is the wonderful "fate" which God reserves to those who are hoping his coming on Christmas day! Let us ask Mary that the joy may also become our recompense on this so much expected day of the Birth of the Savior of the world!



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