December 23, 2018
Sunday, December 23
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Luke 1: 39-45
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 today paints a scene of two women meeting, both carrying precious gifts. Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary carrying John the Baptist and Mary a visitor to the home of Elizabeth carrying the most precious gift of all Jesus, the Son of God.
When Mary enters the home of Elizabeth, she greets her, and the baby in her womb, jumps for joy as he now recognizes his savior.
Elizabeth cries out that this woman is Blessed among all her race as she brings to mankind forever the Savior of the world.
Elizabeth calls Mary full of Grace, Gratia Plena. The grace given to her by God himself, she prepares a worthy home for her son and later will stand by him as he hangs from the cross.
Mary is given a great compliment at the end of the gospel story today. She is called blessed because she believed. She took a great step for the world when she said yes to the angel and so set the stage for our salvation in the birth of her son.
Today, as Christmas draws near, listen to the voice of Elizabeth speak for us all, as she learns that the mother of her Lord and ours has finally come to us.