The Gospel reading says that on hearing Mary’s greeting to Elizabeth, the child in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy. Mary and Elizabeth’s encounter was a sharing of joy. Each had her own reason for a great happiness but thought of the other’s happiness. Joy that is shared is doubled. It was a special joy because it found its source in God. Wherever Mary goes, she provokes an explosion of joy like at the wedding in Cana. In today’s Gospel, the baby leaps for joy. Elizabeth shouts her joy at being visited by the Lord in Mary’s womb, and in Mary’s Magnificat the poor exult for joy because their liberation is close at hand.
Mary is proclaimed blessed by Elizabeth because she believed that the promise made to her by the Lord would be fulfilled. God made so many promises to the chosen people of Israel through the prophets. But when their fulfillment was delayed, the people doubted the word of the Lord. They preferred to place their trust in themselves and in their plans and it ended in total failure. Mary instead is blessed because she trusted God. She was sure that in spite of all appearances to the contrary, the word of the Lord would be fulfilled.
Maybe our communities and all of us today could be called blessed because we have believed the word of the Lord. Let us try to question ourselves, for instance, if we are really convinced that the promises God made in the Beatitudes to the peacemakers, the non-violent, those who offer the other cheek, those who do not seek vengeance, will really be fulfilled. Perhaps we do believe in God but maybe only to a certain point especially when God asks us to do something that goes against human common sense. Mary is teaching us that it is worthwhile to place our trust in the Lord; not just when it suits us or occasionally but always. Perhaps in these next few days before Christmas, we need to ask ourselves: “Where are we going to find him, the Messiah, the expected Savior? Is it on the surface of life?
As one family, let us prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord in faith, in simplicity, in humility and in availability. Christmas is a family feast. Let us learn to give up our inflexibility and stubbornness and be good to one another. Forgive one another and do our share in creating a hearty atmosphere in our home. Give God all the chances of becoming human in our home, in our family, in the union of our married partnership, in the oneness between parents and children. So many things can become signs of our availability and of God’s graciousness. All these signs combine to become the sacrament of our Christmas this year: God becomes man and He becomes human among us, in our homes, our hearts, our community and in our world.