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Time of waiting will soon be over

Based on Mi 5:1-4a; Hev 10:5-10; Gospel of Lk 1:39-45

From Bethlehem, a small town, and from an insignificant clan, God fulfills his plan for salvation.

In Luke’s Gospel for this Fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth to share wonderful, joyful news. As Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting, she in turn greets Mary with three “blessed!”

“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.” Mary hugs Elizabeth. Full of joy, Mary sings the Magnificat, a prayer said daily in the church’s Liturgy of the Hours.

What a happy visit – full of joy and praise to God because they’re each going to have a baby. Mary and Elizabeth felt especially blessed knowing they had been chosen by God, and that their children, Jesus and John the Baptist, would be blessed by God in special ways.

Mary’s visit to Elizabeth is the second joyful mystery of the rosary. Pray the rosary daily this week and think about how Mary brought Jesus to Elizabeth. As you pray each Hail Mary, remember it includes the angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary and Elizabeth’s holy responses to Mary’s greeting.

Elizabeth’s faith recognized the presence of Jesus in Mary and so the infant in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy. By faith, we must consciously recognize that Jesus is present among us and speaks to us through sacred Scripture, in the words of the Mass, in the liturgical year, in the sacraments, in the words and actions of others around us, and in the whole of creation. Jesus is still “Emmanuel” (God with us) – continuing to offer us his love and salvation.

Our time of waiting and readiness for Jesus’ coming will soon be over and burst into the “tidings of great joy” that the angels announced to the shepherds on that first Christmas night, “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.”

A Blessed Christmas!