Commentary on the Gospel of

Tom Shanahan, S.J. - Creighton University's Theology Department

Expectation is a key and central them of Advent. In the third week of this beloved season the expectation increases and invites us to encounter God through deeply human experiences. We get an example of encounters like this as it is portrayed in a gently and loving way: Mary goes to her cousin Elizabeth to be with her. Both are pregnant, Elizabeth with John and Mary with Jesus. They come together gently and simply to share the joys and the discomfort of their pregnancies.

Who is more expectant than a woman awaiting the birth of her child? The Visitation of Mary with her cousin, Elizabeth, provides the perfect example as they come together at this special time. They share together the wonders of bearing a child. And, we are given a share of that wonder as we await the goodness of Jesus who comes into our lives.

The interchange between Mary and Elizabeth is simple yet profound. Cousins, they come together at this special time. They share together the wonders of bearing a child. And we are given a share of that wonder as we await the goodness of Jesus who comes in our lives.

The interchange between Mary and Elizabeth is simple yet profound. Cousins, they come together to share the life-giving experience of motherhood together and to be of service to each other as they bear in their wombs the two who will make such a profound influence on their lives. John and Jesus linked together even before their births in a bond of kinship and promise.

Le our expectations flourish as we approach the feast of Christmas. Advent gives us the invitation to patience in discovering the wonderful goodness of God. God sets his sights on our need of forgiveness and mercy.

The meeting of these two special women gives us a way of expressing our own love of God by honoring the simple gifts of love and affection shown to us in their gracious interaction and exchange of love. These women bless us as they share together their love and affection. Goodness begets goodness as shown in their loving interactions. Can we discover the beauty of their interactions with each other? Elizabeth and Mary are a blessing to us and an invitation to share the goodness of love with one another they exhibit.

As we quietly spend these next few days of Advent, let us continue to be nourished by the goodness of God-in-Christ. We are so blessed! Let us find joy there and the invitation to be open to God's call to reverence and to serve God in the person of Jesus.

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