Jesus is the fullness of God’s visits to us humans to save us. The visits we pay to our neighbor should be like Jesus’.
Mary is besides herself after the angel Gabriel’s visit. That is to say, she cannot keep her joy to herself. So, she goes in haste, since she has made up her mind to share it with Elizabeth and share too in her. The feet of the one who goes to visit are, of course, beautiful upon the mountains. For she brings good news (Is 52, 7). And blessed also is Elizabeth; she gets the blessing of two visits in one.
No, it is not only Mary but also the fruit of her womb that visits Elizabeth. Mary enters Zechariah’s house, but greets Elizabeth. And, then, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy and she, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit.
She is very cheerful as she returns Mary’s greeting. For she cries out in a loud voice and says to her, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” She also humbly recognizes as her Lord Mary’s son. Hence, there is no doubt that Elizabeth knows that two visits, in fact, make up her cousin’s visit.
Women of faith
Nor is there is doubt that the light is on the women; Joseph and Zechariah are not part of the scene. The two women are simple and play no religious role. Not like the priest Zechariah, Mary believes simply; she does not question teachings (SV.EN XI:190). It is enough for her to take her cousin’s pregnancy as a guarantee of her motherhood also.
Elizabeth, in turn, shows an insightful, joyful and lively faith. She looks through Mary and sees the Savior. And she grasps, in her baby’s leap, the joy that the Lord’s presence brings. She is all words too; she is more like David (2 Sam 6, 14. 20) than her husband, wary and mute.
Is our faith like that of Mary and Elizabeth? Are we among the little folks who worship God in Spirit and truth? For God chooses them in the same way that he chose little Bethlehem. And he makes known to them the visits he pays humans, the ones that he hides from the wise. Hence, they are not of the city that does not know the time of God’s visits to save it (Lk 19, 44).
And since they know such time, these simple folks get to do God’s will. And get to pay visits to others to help them, as did the saints too of the Vincentian family. To give their lives for them even. As does Jesus who gives his body up and sheds his blood for us.
Lord Jesus, your visits to us to set us free are like the dawn from on high that breaks upon us. Take us out of the darkness and shadow of sin and death.
19 December 2021
Fourth Sunday of Advent (C)
Mic 5, 1-4a; Heb 10, 5-10; Lk 1, 39-45