Posted by: livingscripture | December 20, 2015

Fourth Sunday of Advent



From the Word of the Day

“She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb’.”     

(Luke 1: 40-42)

How should we live this Wordvisitation

 The Gospel of the Fourth Sunday of Advent is the door to the birth of Jesus and is a splendid icon of hospitality, of an encounter of faith that sees two women as the protagonists:  Mary and her cousin Elizabeth.  Christmas is welcome and the encounter with Life!  Thus we have an encounter and an embrace between two women who are pregnant with life.

Elizabeth is pregnant with two millennium of expectation and Mary carries in herself the eternally Expected One.  Two women, who in their encounter reveal each other, know each other, and understand each other.  Their encounter can also be read as the embrace between the Old and the New Testaments; between the promise and its fulfillment.  It is true, that only by meeting each other is there revelation and understanding.  The Old Testament becomes clear in the New Testament and we see that the New is hidden in the Old.  The encounter comes in a greeting, the Jewish greeting of Shalom – Peace!

Mary does not only bring a word, an abstract greeting, but the ‘fulfillment’ of her womb is truly Peace.  “He Himself will be peace!” (Micah 5: 4).  Elizabeth is overjoyed and blesses Mary, recognizing in her the reality of every promise.  The time of waiting is reaching its end.   It is the beginning of a new reality!

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on this lovely scene of greeting, of recognition, of joy, and enter into its spirit, the spirit of Christmas.

Mary, come to visit me as you did Elizabeth.  Bring Jesus to me, who is Peace and Joy!  Let the greeting of peace convert my life into fulfillment and blessing.  Lead me; take me by the hand; and guide me to Jesus in this Christmas of Mercy!

 The Voice of Liturgy Antiphon

 O Key of David, who open the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven, free the prisoners who dwell in darkness.


Provincial House 655 Belmont Av Haledon, NJ   07508

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Reflection by Sr. Monica Gianoli, FMA


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