Reflection for Fourth Sunday of Advent

Today’s Gospel presents us with a tender scene, two women sharing the joy of expecting their first firstborn children. But their joy goes deeper than this. In the stirring of the baby in her womb, Elizabeth recognize that Mary is carrying the one who will bring salvation into the world. In Mary’s child God is with us. Mary provides God with the means of entering our world and sharing our lives. With the birth of Jesus all life becomes Holy.
When we visit relatives and friends, what do they see? Do we bring love, respect, and care to them? Can they experience something of God’s love and acceptance through our love for them? Does our arrival mean more work for them or do we look for ways to be of service?
In a few days will. Be celebrating the birth of Christ-child. Last minute preparations for this great feast are often hectic. When our days are at a frantic pace, a little mishap can become the occasion for angry words, words that hurt and ones we often wish had never spoken. Perhaps, one way to change this is to do what Mary did: She put aside her own preparations and went to be of service to Elizabeth.
Mary knew how to listen to the Holy Spirit dwelling within her helping he to discover the meaning of her experiences. She may not have always understood, but she trusted that when the time came God would make all things clear. Mary calls upon us to ponder our own situation, the situation of our world, and then to listen for God speaking to us through the experiences we have. The we may recognize thei meaning when it is time for us to do so.
For whom would Mary speak today? Certainly she would speak for the poor, the oppressed, those whose lives are torn by war and violence, and all who are unable to speak for themselves. And for whom does God ask us to speak? To whom does God send us to love and accept? With Mary, let us reflect on our own situations and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In this way we will discover how to act on behalf of the poor and the oppressed and know the joy of the Lord.
God bless you all
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ,