Gospel Reflections

4th Sunday of Advent

Luke 1:39-45

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Catherine Waldron

Published: December 20, 2015

Read Luke 1:39-45

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. Read More…


In today's Gospel, Luke narrates Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel. Mary has proclaimed her “Fiat!” and receives the mystery of God’s Spirit, creating new life within her womb. She wastes little time in deciding to make the journey to be with her cousin Elizabeth. Just how far away the town in Judah is does not seem to matter to Luke or to Mary. Instead, she goes quickly (in haste) to visit this older woman.

When you picture this young woman making a journey of some length, through the hills, what do you see in her character?

• Bravery? Do you think she knows the way? Do you see her walking alone? Do you trust that she has some good-willed companions for the journey?
• Generosity? The desire to help her cousin make preparations for the birth of her child? Mary’s belief that she will support Elizabeth in her last trimester? An urge to be in the presence of Elizabeth, who is also living her “Yes” to God?
• Feelings of aloneness? A young girl seeking the counsel of her elder cousin? A desire to be with another woman who has her own exceptional experience of the Divine?
• Desire to better understand God’s unique will for her? …

When we look at the thousands of people fleeing their homes in Syria, are our eyes and hearts able to take in families with similar characteristics?

Note Elizabeth opening her door, heart and home to welcome Mary. What a magnificent revelation the Spirit communicated through Mary’s unassuming greeting! Note how God’s Spirit prompted Elizabeth’s proclamation and affirmation of one who dared to believe that with God nothing is impossible!

Let us open our own hearts to listen carefully to what God is asking of us in these 4 days before Christmas. Might it be, that each of us will be forever changed by what we hear and act upon in our own lives this Season?

As we greet our own relatives and friends these weeks, let us join one another in renewing our resolve to see Christ alive and growing in each person, that they and we believe and act in response to our loving and gracious God.

« View all Gospel Reflections