In the Ignatian Exercises, contemplation is a key prayer form. I love to use it, to immerse myself in the reading and picture how things unfolded. When I close my eyes and create the scene of Elizabeth and Mary in today’s Gospel, I smile. This encounter is one of the most beautiful meetings recorded. The meeting is not just about Elizabeth and Mary embracing but also about their babies in their wombs recognizing each other too. Jesus and John greet each other as their mothers come together to share their secrets and immense joy. What a treasured moment!
Love has visited each woman and Love longs to visit each of us. This fourth Sunday in Advent is all about Love. This Sunday ties all of the themes together: Hope, peace, joy and love. All the candles are lit and Love stands highest and shines brightest. Love has created a plan for our world and in this reading we see from the very beginning that it is worth leaping for joy over.
In the Gospel, Elizabeth tells Mary: And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord. God has blessings in store for our believing hearts. God takes our yeses and transforms them into moments of joy not only for ourselves, but for those around us….even the littlest of these. Joy unspeakable is within our grasp, even if we do not completely comprehend what is at hand. Do not wait to be sure of all the details to come. Embrace, instead, the moment, despite the uncertainties and doubt. Trust that Love has a plan to bring a hope and a future that is beyond your greatest longing. You are in God’s hands and therefore you are in good hands. Blessed are we who believe!
What is one of your most treasured encounters?
What is God asking you to believe this Christmas?
give me a heart that leaps
and dances with joy
each time I recognize
You in others.
Give me a faith that believes
in your promises no matter what.
Let me know how blessed I really am.
I enjoyed reading this reflection on the beautiful story of Mary’s visit with Elizabeth. Wishing you and all your readers a joyful Christmas!
Wishing you and Ron a peace-filled Christmas too. The flowers are still very beautiful…thanks so much!