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Fourth Sunday of Advent – Cycle C

18 December 2021

Reflecting on Luke 1: 39-45

Two silent, unborn children. One, newly conceived, has just made the ninety-mile journey within his mother’s womb to the hill country of Judea. The other, conceived to the shock and awe of the neighbors (and to his father, struck mute for the duration of the pregnancy), is now six months old in the womb of his aged mother, Elizabeth.

Mary arrives at Ein Karem. How will she ever express what she is experiencing? Will she be as wordless as Zechariah in the midst of The Mystery? It turns out the infant in Elizabeth’s womb does the talking for her. He—the pre-born child—is the first to announce the gospel, the first to recognize the Christ. He leaps, and then Elizabeth announces what her child already knows. Blessed is she who believed that the promise of the Lord would be fulfilled.

Mary and Joseph trusted. Elizabeth and Zechariah trusted. But it was God who first trusted, who created humankind, who gave us every beautiful thing, and then, in the greatest act of trust, gave us God’s own Son.

The author Elizabeth Stone wrote, “The decision to have a child…is to decide forever to have your heart go around outside your body.” In sending the Son, the Father decided to have his heart, forever after, go around outside his body.

That’s us. We are that heart, walking around outside the body of the Creator, destined to return to God. My favorite theologian, John Kavanaugh, SJ, wrote, “Mary believed the promise of God and, in doing so, gave birth to the promise.”

We who believe the promise must give birth to the promise. We are God’s heart, walking around. Glory to God in the highest.

How are you giving birth to the promise in the actions of your life?

Kathy McGovern ©2021

Advent - Cycle C

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