Commentary on the Gospel of
Today’s Gospel tells us of an expectant Mary’s journey to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, also expecting a child of her own. This seems quite the joyful meeting between these two, this joy reaching even the child Elizabeth is carrying in her womb. And yet, Elizabeth and Mary have endured and are enduring a difficult task; namely, that of waiting. Expecting. From the littlest child to the most mature among us, waiting proves a mighty challenge. The child waits for the possibility of dessert after dinner, the high school athlete endures long practices, waiting for the possibility of winning a contest, the young couple waits until they can buy their first home. Waiting is, as they say, a part of life.
The Christian life is one of waiting. In fact, among all that faith requires waiting is, perhaps, comparatively underrated in its difficulty. And it truly can be difficult. But while waiting may be part of the Christian life, it is not done passively. For the Christian, waiting is accompanied by preparation and this preparation is done based upon a promise, God’s promise of His Son.
In this season of Advent, we wait with Mary for the coming of her Son. But let us not wait passively. Rather, let us prepare our hearts to receive Jesus anew this Christmas. How can I create more room in my heart to receive Jesus this Christmas? What opportunities present themselves for me to help those I love do the same? Indeed, this preparation is done with faith in God’s promise. Throughout the remainder of this Advent season and beyond, let us hold fast to this promise with Mary as our model and, with her, proclaim the greatness of the Lord (Luke 1:46).
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
Come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.