Many of us will be traveling to see family and friends over the next three or four days just like Mary travels to see her cousin Elizabeth.
Mary and Elizabeth laugh together. Mary and Elizabeth wonder together. Mary and Elizabeth pray together. Elizabeth is overcome with joy. And so is John the Baptist alive and leaping for joy in Elizabeth’s womb.
Why? Because Mary comes to Elizabeth bringing her son Jesus alive in her womb.
There is a wonderful relationship between Mary and Elizabeth. And there is a wonderful relationship between John and Jesus. They come to understand that God loves them more than they could imagine. God only wants what is best for them.
Their relationships mirror the relationship God wants to have with us. God is full of surprises. A virgin and an old woman are pregnant. For with God, nothing is impossible. There may be bumps in the road but there are no dead ends.
Mary comes to us bringing her son Jesus at Christmas time. Yes. But not just at Christmas. Indeed Mary comes bringing Jesus on every ordinary day when our hearts are open to receive him.
Jesus comes into the world to have a relationship with you and me. In that relationship, Jesus longs to affirm the goodness within us.
On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, we ask Jesus to help us believe that he and his mother desire to visit us this Christmas.
We ask Jesus to help us to believe that he wants to be a guest in our homes, but more importantly in our hearts.
We pray that Jesus helps us realize that whether we understand it or not, he loves us, is present to us, lives in us, forgives us, and calls us to draw near.
So Jesus is our greatest gift this Christmas. This is an extraordinary gift. One tht we have done nothing to deserve. And that’s the reason why it’s so wonderful.
We do not earn it, we simply receive it. And we receive it by being open and letting the gift come.
Many of us will be traveling over the next three or four day. And if we are not travelling, it is likely that someone is coming to visit us.
In our visitations, may we find the same joy that Mary and Elizabeth and John and Jesus bring.