Reflection of the Word of God, FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT, December 19th
Today's Gospel describes Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth. The two knew each other. They were relatives. But in this encounter, they discover in each other, a mystery that they did not yet know and that fills them with great joy. Isabel is in the sixth month and the child to be born will be called John, a name that means "God is generous." This child is happy to hear the voice of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who has come to help his mother. Mary shows that, without claiming greatness or privilege because she is God's chosen one, she continues to be a humble woman from Nazareth who knows how to serve others. Both women have believed and now they wait happily for what was announced to be fulfilled.
Mary lived the deepest and most real Advent, like a pregnant mother who joyfully awaits the moment of childbirth, the moment of giving birth to the expected of the peoples, the one announced by the prophets, Emmanuel, God made man. "Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son who will be called Emmanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).
Christmas is defined as a time of peace and hope, but hope in what? Time for joy, but joy for what? We too are invited to be joyful and to have hope. Christmas is an opportunity to meet, reconcile and serve others.