Advent 2017

Third Thursday in Advent - December 21st

Sgs 2: 8-14 / Ps 33: 2-3, 11-12, 20-21 / Lk 1: 39-45

Place yourself at the scene of the Visitation. See Mary, dirty and tired from traveling such a long journey, and hear her call out to her beloved cousin and friend, Elizabeth. Feel Elizabeth’s heart race and John the Baptist leap in her womb as she realizes “This is it.” This is the One we’ve been waiting for. This is the Lord! Hear the joyful squeals of the women as they embrace and celebrate God’s provision and the children within them.

The Visitation is rich with symbolism: the meeting of the Old and New Testament, the precursor and the Messiah. More plainly, though, in this Gospel Mary and Elizabeth both beautifully model the Christian life.

Luke tells us that Mary traveled “in haste” to see Elizabeth. Mary is physically filled with Christ, and this moves her to action. She cannot contain her joy; she rushes to share and respond to the Word of God within her. Should we not do the same? If you truly “believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled,” could you keep it to yourself, or would you be compelled to spread the Good News?

When Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting, she recognizes immediately that Christ is within her. Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, is a living tabernacle, and Elizabeth cannot help but bless her. Through the Eucharist, each of us is a living tabernacle. Yet, how often slow we are to recognize Christ in each other!

In the end of this Advent season, may joyful anticipation guide our actions, and let us be quick to see Christ living within each person we encounter.

Emily Folse
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Class of 2018