Daily Gospel Reflection – Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 19, 2021
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Gospel: Lk 1:39-45
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Give Up the Ego-Drama! — Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermon
Friends, most of us are stuck in the boring and narrow confines of the ego-drama. Mary is not playing an ego-dramatic game; she is playing a theo-dramatic game. We hear of how she sets out "with haste"—the sign of the saints—and it's because she knows her mission and her purpose in God's story.
Friends, today’s Gospel tells the marvelous story of the Visitation. At the Annunciation, the angel had told Mary that the child to be conceived in her would be the new David. With that magnificent prophecy still ringing in her ears, Mary set out to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was married to Zechariah, a temple priest.
No first-century Jew would have missed the significance of their residence being in "the hill country" of Judah. That was precisely where David found the ark, the bearer of God’s presence. To that same hill country now comes Mary, the definitive and final Ark of the Covenant.
Elizabeth is the first to proclaim the fullness of the Gospel: "How does it happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"—the Lord, which is to say, the God of Israel. Mary brings God into the world, thus making it, at least in principle, a temple.
And then Elizabeth announces that, at the sound of Mary’s greeting, "the infant in my womb leaped for joy." This is the unborn John the Baptist doing his version of David’s dance before the ark of the covenant, his great act of worship of the King.
Reflect: Without the Holy Spirit, this exchange between Mary and Elizabeth would not have been possible. Reflect on the power of the Holy Spirit in your own life and in the Church.