In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
During Advent we attempt to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of our lives (and the pre-Christmas shopping season) and spend time renewing our commitment to prayer and to Christ. This renewal prompts us to help others encounter Jesus and engage more fully in God’s Kingdom.
In today’s Gospel we see in Mary a wonderful example of freely giving our time and talents. When Mary heard that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, she ‘traveled to the hill country in haste.’ She did not complain that she had work to do, shopping to finish, meals to prepare, or another email to write. She did not say that she would go after she got her work done or when it was convenient for her. She immediately left her home, chores, and family to be present to a person in need. Mary’s loving response to a friend in need causes me to think about how I give of myself during this busy time of the year.
As the Advent season ends and I hope for the joy of Christmas, am I being present to family members or friends that need companionship and support? Do I spend some time in prayer and thanksgiving? Do I remember that Christmas is about Jesus and not about the cards, presents, decorations, or food? Do I actively look for Jesus in myself and those I meet? Do I encourage others to encounter Jesus during the holiday season?
—Brother John Moriconi, S.J., a noted mandolinist, is provincial’s secretary for the Chicago-Detroit Jesuit Province.
O radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light,
sun of justice:
Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death!—The Jesuit Prayer Team Please share the Good Word with your friends!