4th Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

In today’s Gospel we share in Mary’s moment just after she’s given her fiat to the angel Gabriel and become the mother of God and mother of the Messiah. Gabriel shares the news of her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy as a sign that nothing was impossible to God, and Mary’s first thought is to hurry and be with her. Did she want to see if Gabriel’s news was true? Unlikely. Did she want to hurry and share the happy news that involved both her and Elizabeth? Probably. Did she want to help her elderly cousin with her pregnancy shifting from the second trimester into the third? Definitely.

Elizabeth had no visit from an angel, but something even better: a visit from the mother of her Lord, and from the Holy Spirit. This is the first moment when the Forerunner and the Messiah, in their mothers’ wombs, meet, and little John is literally leaping for joy. Elizabeth realized how momentous the occasion was, and that it was thanks to Mary’s faith. Sometimes we forget that Mary could have declined the invitation to be the mother of God, but, thank God, she didn’t.

Advent is a few days away from concluding. We may be running around a lot, but the important thing is to whom we’re running toward: Jesus, about to be born, and our family. We bear Jesus already in our hearts through baptism. Let’s hasten to share him with our families as well so that they too have a reason to rejoice this Christmas.

Readings: Micah 5:1–4a; Psalm 80:2–3, 15–16, 18–19; Hebrews 10:5–10; Luke 1:39–45.