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Fourth Sunday of Advent – Cycle B

23 December 2023

Reflecting on Luke 1: 26-38

This Advent I’ve been inviting students to think about this question: With which one of the Advent and Christmas saints do you most resonate? For some, the answer is quick, almost before I can ask the question. ZECHARIAH! said my friend. “What? How can you know so fast? I didn’t even ask the question yet!” “I just know,” she said.

It’s a wonderful meditation. Are you like Joseph, quietly and kindly protecting and providing for your family? Are you like the shepherds, who, after seeing the angels and hearing their tidings of great joy, raced the five miles to Bethlehem to see for themselves the things which had come to pass?

As I read this familiar (and yet still so shocking) gospel account of the Annunciation, I think of my niece, Lauren. St. Luke says that Mary, immediately after her encounter with the Angel Gabriel, set out alone from Galilee to travel ninety dangerous miles to the hill country of Judea in order to be with her aged cousin, Elizabeth, now six months into her pregnancy.

She came to serve her, and stayed three months with her and Zechariah in order to assist her aged cousin with the birth.

I have a niece like this. If I called Lauren at 6am on Christmas Eve and said, “Lauren, I’m having ten people for dinner in twelve hours, and I just can’t do it,” her response would be, “Aunt Kathy, I’m getting in the car right now. It’s ninety miles. I’ll bring breakfast.”

That’s how I picture Mary. Young, beautiful, full of love for her family. I hope you have a “Mary” in  your life. Or is that you?

Meditate on the Advent/Christmas saints. Is there one who especially speaks to you?

Kathy McGovern ©2023

Advent - Cycle B

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