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Liturgical day: Sunday 4th (C) of Advent

Gospel text (Lk 1,39-45): Mary then set out for a town in the Hills of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with holy spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, «You are most blessed among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord's word would come true!».

«Blessed are you who believed»

+ Mons. Ramon MALLA i Call Emeritus Bishop of Lleida
(Lleida, Spain)

Today, is the last Sunday before the arrival —the Advent— of God in Bethlehem. So as to be the same as us in everything, He wanted to be conceived —as any other person— in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, but by the action and grace of the Holy Spirit, as He was God. Very soon, on Christmas Day, we will celebrate His birth with great joy.

The Gospel today presents us with two people, Maria and her cousin Elizabeth, who show us with their example the spiritual attitude we should have towards this event. It should be an attitude of faith, of dynamic faith.

Elizabeth, with sincere humility, «was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, (….) ‘How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me?» (Lk 1:41-43). Nobody had explained anything to her. It was her faith alone, the Holy Spirit, that had made her see that her cousin was the mother of her Lord, of God.

Knowing the attitude of total faith on Mary's part, when the angel announced that God had chosen her to be his earthly mother, Elizabeth is eager to proclaim the happiness and joy that faith gives. She underlines this saying: «Blessed are you who believed that the Lord's word would come true!» (Lk 1:45).

So we must live Christmas with faith. But, like Maria and Elizabeth, with a dynamic faith. As a consequence, like Elizabeth, there is no need to hide the joy and gratitude that comes with having faith. Like Maria we have to show it with our deeds. «Mary then set out for a town in the Hills of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth» (Lk 1:39-40) to congratulate her and to help her, staying with her for three months (cf. Lk 1:56).

Saint Ambrose recommends that, in these festive days, «We have all Maria's spirit for glorifying the Lord». We won't lack opportunities for sharing joys and helping the needy.