4. Advent Sunday – Year C – Sermon Thoughts (Lk 1, 39-45)


The gospels of Advent Season are in a transition – a transition to the God Experience.

If the first Sunday’s Gospel was more or less on the symbols and the end of the world, the second Sunday was the proclamation of John the Baptist in the Desert. Following this we heard last week the willingness of some groups of Jews to change their lifestyles.

This Sunday, the 4th Sunday in the Advent time, which is staying near to the great mystery of Jesus’ Incarnation, narrates the trip of Mary visiting Elisabeth, her relative.

Regarding this narration there are no unanimous explanation among the exegetes. Some note this narration as a symbolic one, which shows the readiness of Mary to help others, which was (and is) one of the very important and significant signatures of Christians. “Love your neighbour as yourself”. The teaching is coming from the Master himself. Mary personified this “love”.

Some are but trying to keep the orthodoxy of the sacred scripture and assert this was really a special event in the life of Mother Mary. So this is considered as a historical happening.

Those who visit Holy Land may surely visit the Church of Mary’s Visitation.

Whether it is History or not a part of History, the Gospel Passage is going to enrich us in some way. We will see how this happens.

  1. The first sentence itself says, Mary hurries to Elisabeth. This word is very meaningful in the life of each Christian. We know from the earlier passage that Mary herself was in need, as she was pregnant. But why did she decide to help Elisabeth? She got her power in receiving God in to her life. Mary was blessed from the time of her birth itself. But now through the Words of the Angel Gabriel, she receives enormous Grace and Power. And with its assistance, she hurries to Elisabeth. This is a special character of a God- Blessed Person. The blessings of God make him or her not inactive, but will empower to work, to hurry.
  2. We see Mary enters the house of Zachariah and greets Elisabeth. It is revealing us another face of a blessed person. They will bring blessings to those persons whom they meet. They themselves are now a blessing. And such a blessing is Mary for Elisabeth and Zachariah and John.
  3. And we hear, as Mary greets Elisabeth, the child John (in the womb of Elisabeth) gets reflections of this blessed greeting. He too is “activated”, as Mary “activated” by Angel’s Words. So he “jumps”, says Luke. Yes, the presence of a blessed person brings healing not only to some nearby, but this divinity is absorbed by others, who are “able” to sense this. John was able to sense the divinity in Mary, the growing Jesus, his Master and saviour.
  4. Following this, we hear the beautiful Praises of Elisabeth, on Mary’s personality. The words of Elisabeth are special in 2 ways: It is special, while she uses such blessed words to praise her. It is special, because Elisabeth makes herself so humble in front of Mary. Through this she humbles herself before Jesus the Christ. It is very important to think about our words and dialogues. What kind of Words we are using in our daily life? Are they really an expression of the divine presence in us?
  5. Finally we hear the statement of Elisabeth on Mary. “Blessed are you, who believed in God”. Elisabeth’s words are proclamation from her own life. She can say, doubting the word of God will affect life bad. For that she has a good and living example in her House. Her husband Zachariah is living there without uttering a word, as he doubted the Word of God. What example she can give more than this?

Elisabeth’s sentence is at the same time a declaration to the World on Mary. Mary gets a title with in a short period.

She was addressed “blessed” by the Angel Gabriel at first.

Now Elisabeth too addresses her “blessed” are you.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the passage is so rich with such spiritual interpretations.

And as we have only some days for the Great Celebrations, let us meditate on this passage often and refer to our lives.

Let us ask our selves, how busy and enthusiastic we are for God and Men?

Are we keeping ourselves active?

Are we bringing the divine presence to those who meet?

Can they pass such a remark on us: “this buddy is a real Christian.
We can experience it in his words and deeds”.
Are our lives and words witness to the Christ?

Are we too blessed? Can someone call us so?

Let this advent time,
these few days
help us to choose a blessed and active path of God.
Amen!

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