21st December Advent le 21 décembre l’Avent

“Elizabeth was filled with the Holy spirit and shouted with a loud voice ’Blessed are you among all women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus!”
Friday 20 November 2015

Ct.2,8-14 Ps.32 Lk.1,39-45

Advent 21st December

“Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could into the him country to a town in Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.”

We are living in hard times and can see many failures around us; in work places we hear about projects having to be abandoned due to a lack of funding. Even amongst Christians the atmosphere has turned into something hard to accept, churches are shut because old structures have been tried out.

Today’s Gospel is a shock to us - a women gets up, full of energy and crosses very rapidly a hilly country to reach a village in the south of the country ; her cousin, seeing her, cries with all her strength for joy, for she can see marvellous things produce, and through her it is a whole people that sees their future open up before them with the coming of the Messiah. It is the haste of love. Mary is carrying her child within her as she goes up hills, it is her child that attracts her from within and pushes her further and further ahead. Mary enters into t he house of Zechariah and greets Elizabeth. Mary’s word awakens the child and her elderly cousin Elizabeth. Mary’s welcome for the ’secret’ of Elizabeth brings about a mystery , her word fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit and so she cries out in a loud voice : ’Blessed are you amongst all women and blessed are you who believed! ’ The Holy Spirit does a work of Love, the mystery of the child of God who drowses in each one of us is in this way awoken. We are in the image of the unique Child of the Father. What happens in Elizabeth thanks to Mary can also happen for each one of us.

“Now, when Elizabeth heard Mary’ s greeting, the child within her womb leapt for joy and she cries out in aloud voice : ’Blessed are you amongst all women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus! Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?”

We receive this gospel like a shock, with a note of envy, is it really possible to live the same thing, need we take the time to go through these feelings before coming to a beautiful awareness : I can do like Mary, this women gets up, is

standing, and she goes over hills with such energy : I can do like Elizabeth who sees around her people who are desired and taken care of by a God , He who is so tender and merciful and who fulfils them with so many good things.

’How is it that the mother of my Saviour should come to me?’

The happiness of welcoming Mary to her home is so great for Elizabeth , for she brings with her the Lord Jesus. When Mary comes into a heart, the Holy Spirit enters into a new Covenant of love with them. This union of love forms Jesus in each one of us. ’How do I have the honour that the mother of my Lord comes as far as me! For when I heard the sound of your voice, my child win my womb leapt for joy!’ When Mary greets us, Jesus who is present, awaken in us the child of God within us, whom the Holy Spirit works so that this child grows. To welcome the Kingdom of God is to believe as Mary did at the Annunciation. Faith in Jesus’ puts to work the Holy Spirit who brings about a new humanity. From now on all generations will call her blessed, because all will be visited by God.

“The moment I heard your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

To believe is to see what is invisible. We carry deep down within ourselves a mystery of life; a love that goes beyond us. Faith alone allows us to constantly see it. It is what sustained Jesus, allowing him to act in another way than other people and brought him to speak about the Kingdom of God. We bear the same mystery of Love, the same world that asks to be born. We would like to see it outside of us, all done, whereas it is in fact in part invisible and it is up to us to bring it to the world.

Let us become aware at Christmas time that Jesus who is to be born is deep down within each one of us. May we realise that all hopes are permitted and that the Lord will give a follow up to all the words he spoke, until their full accomplishment.

Still today ,it is a question of welcoming Mary in our hearts, for henceforth God does all things new. God Our Father had wanted to pass through the way of Mary, the little daughter of Israel, in order to give Jesus to us. God comes in our human flesh, his Love will take everything in us, all its place, so that we become what we are in Him : his beloved child.

Today the Church gives Jesus to us in the Eucharist. The mystery of the Word awakens in us the gift of God. This word provokes the coming of the Holy Spirit who in humanity continues Mary’s work. Mary baked the bread, said Saint Bernard. May she prepare our hearts again to the Coming of Jesus.

We ask for the grace that our thanksgiving be overflowing.