4th Sunday of Advent Year C - 19/12/2021 - Gospel: Lk 1: 39-45
Chain of Revelations
Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Each woman had only one son, and both reached out in love and praised God for the miraculous actions God had done in their lives. The meeting of the two expectant mothers was also the meeting of the two unborn sons. St Luke recorded, as soon as John's mother, Elizabeth, heard Mary's greeting, the unborn child leapt in her womb. At the universal level, apart from Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and John were representing the human race to welcome Jesus into our world. At an individual level, it meant Elizabeth and John welcomed Jesus into their own lives, and they both were filled with great joy. This personal experience pointed to the reality, that those who welcomed Jesus into their hearts would be filled with joy. John's mother, Elizabeth, also expressed her joyful personal experience in her own way. She welcomed Mary into her home. She was filled with great joy. She was the first woman who welcomed the Mother of God. She expressed her joy by praising God. Both Elizabeth and John felt God's grace which was revealed in a concrete situation. For Elizabeth, she felt God blessed her by giving her a child. In that way, God removed her shame, since she was called 'barren' for being married without children. She now was in her sixth months. Second, she was blessed by Mary's visit. 'Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?'Lk 1,42. Third, the visit itself was a special grace, because in a mysterious way, Elizabeth was able to recognize Mary- Mother of God.

Elizabeth prophesised that God blessed Mary for eternity, 'Of all women you are the most blessed' and the blessing lasted forever because Mary was the Mother of God. Mary was blessed partly because she was chosen to be Mother of God. Before being chosen, Mary's firm faith in God was evident. Furthermore, she believed what God promised 'would be fulfilled'. Mary won God's favour for her humility. In her Magnificat, Mary

'proclaims the greatness of the Lord... because He has looked upon His lowly handmaid' Lk 1,47.

Mary praised God for giving her special favour. She strongly believed in God's promise. Her consent, saying 'yes' to the angel opened the way for Jesus, first to enter her life, and then to enter the world. It was manifested through the birth of Jesus, known as Christmas.

A human birth is the gift of life. It is God's grace. This gift of life requires to care for with tender love. Our physical life takes years to growth to maturity, not spiritual life. Our spiritual maturity grows independently from our physical's growth. John grew in spiritual maturity at the very young age. Mary grew in spiritual maturity at early age in her life. The angel told Mary that she had won God's favour. Hearing the angel's announcement, Mary asked for clarification; this implied that Mary, without fully understand, had already trusted God's plan for her.

Both the women, Mary and Elizabeth, each played a significant role in the history of salvation. Mary became the Mother of the Lord; while Elizabeth took the role of prophet by speaking the prophetic word about Mary: The most blessed woman and Mother of the Lord. John saw Jesus for the first time, not with his physical eyes but with the eye of faith. While in prison, John knew Jesus was the Messiah also through the eyes of faith.

We are blessed when we confess Jesus is our Lord and God.