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Mary's Visitation to Elizabeth

December 19, Sunday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Daily Readings: Micah 5:1-4a & Luke 1:39-45

The child leaped for joy. In Luke's Gospel, joy emerges wherever Jesus is. Angels and shepherds rejoice at his birth. His disciples cannot fast and mourn while he is around. Zacchaeus rejoices when Jesus comes to his house. The disciples at Emmaus were overcome when they recognized Jesus as their companion, and the Gospel ends with the disciples returning to Jerusalem with great joy. I ask that I may also be full of joy because Jesus is near.

Jesus promised his disciples that "no one will take your joy from you" (John 16:22). The Lord gives us a supernatural joy that enables us to bear any sorrow or pain and which neither life nor death can take away.

When Elizabeth greeted Mary and recognized the Messiah in Mary's womb they were filled with the Holy Spirit and with a joyful anticipation of the fulfillment of God's promise to give a Savior. What a marvelous wonder for God to fill not only Elizabeth's heart with his Holy Spirit but the child in her womb as well. Even before the birth of the Messiah, John the Baptist pointed to his coming and leaped for joy in the womb of his mother as the Holy Spirit revealed to him the presence of the King to be born.

The Holy Spirit is God's gift to us to enable us to know and experience the indwelling presence of God and the power of his kingdom. The Holy Spirit is the way in which God reigns within each of us.

Birth, the gift of life from God, fruitfulness was always sacred to the people of Israel, and the mothers had a special place down through sacred history – as the bearers of life. Mary and Elizabeth outdo one another, as it were, in giving thanks.

But this particular case is special, unique. Jesus, the child that Mary is carrying, is recognized by the child in Elizabeth's womb - John leaps in recognition of the one whom both mothers revere as 'Lord' (John himself being of miraculous origin from an elderly mother).

And above and beyond what is happening to each mother, earthshaking events are in train - the Lord (long-awaited) has finally come to visit his people, to be victorious over enemies, to exult with joy over those who are his own.



Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.