Taking after the Son

Homily for Dec. 21, Tuesday of the IV week of Advent

“Exult you just, in the Lord!” All the readings today are full of this sense of rejoicing in the Lord’s presence and in the assurance that He will soon show Himself to His people. This is especially true in the Gospel reading, in which St John the Baptist, still in his mother’s womb, leaps for joy when he senses the presence of the Son of God in Mary’s womb. The Holy Spirit helps Elizabeth to understand what this sudden movement of her unborn child means. She then rejoices because Mary had believed in God and thus become the mother of the Lord, and because Mary had chosen to come visit her.

That visit was truly no small matter; Mary was pregnant with the Messiah and to visit Elizabeth she had to travel nearly one hundred miles, probably on foot, and probably without her husband. But Mary is truly the Mother of Jesus, and in this case, the Mother is like the Son; she is, if possible, more generous and self-giving because of His presence in her womb. And this holds as a general principle: the more we have Jesus in our hearts and minds, the more generous we become.

Personally, I’ve been very impressed with the generosity of our community during this Advent. With the Jesse Trees in our churches, there has been a constant flow of presents for the poor that have filled rooms in the rectory between the many trips to drop them off at Catholic Charities. In these economically tough times, it’s a beautiful thing to see.

Some people simply cannot buy any presents, but there is another kind of self-giving that we can all afford this Christmas. The holiday season often brings together people who otherwise might not spend much time with each other, and everyone is busy and sometimes a little bit stressed. Jesus’ presence in Mary helped her be, if possible, even more self-giving than usual. May He help us to be even more patient and to speak and act more kindly to everyone and about everyone. By our love, people will sense that the Lord is truly in our midst.


About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
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