In a recent conversation with members of our parish renewal team, I realized that we live in a very logical society: we want proofs, we love our technological gimmicks, we avoid risks when we aren’t sure something is trustworthy. But curiously, we are a people of belief: we place our trust in surgeons, we act on the advice of certain persons, we take a risk when we try something new. We recognize that relationships always entail a certain amount of trust and self-surrender. Our readings this Advent have shown us that nothing about what Mary and Elizabeth was logical. They relied solely on their belief that God’s word would be fulfilled and they trusted in that word.
In our Gospel today, Mary sets out to visit the elderly Elizabeth who also is pregnant according to the word of Gabriel. Two incarnations are announced. Jesus in the womb of Mary, and the Holy Spirit who filled Elizabeth. And for each, their child will change their lives forever. Although Elizabeth extols Mary for her belief, it was also Elizabeth’s belief that enabled her to conceive John as well as recognize the presence of the Savior in her midst through Mary.
On this last Sunday before Christmas, we are led into the depth of the Christmas mystery. Like Mary, we are called to birth Christ’s presence in our world today. And in bringing Christ to our world, we are blessed as we share in the very life of God.