Sunday December 19, 4th Sunday Advent

Gospel of Luke 1:39-45

Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

As I read this Gospel I am struck by how contagious and efficacious the Holy Spirit is. The Spirit causes a leaping into action in many ways.

The Spirit  had ‘come upon’ Mary and now she was with child. The Spirit prompts Mary to leap up and set out ‘in haste’ to Elizabeth. As the women greet each other, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit.

The child John within her womb leaps for joy. Elizabeth then exclaims loudly a great truth ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.’

There is no doubt Mary’s heart must leap big time as she subsequently sings her great song of praise ‘the Magnificat’. Hearts have been leaping into action ever since throughout history at this song…

…He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. …Luke 1:51-53

In my prayer, can I feel this contagious Spirit at work? Does my heart leap today? Am I leaping into action and responding to the Spirit of love, peace and justice like Mary and Elizabeth?

I pray for peace, justice and joyful leaping in our beautiful but troubled world.