Engaging the Gospel – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year C): Gospel – Luke 1:39-45

Because the Virgin Mary had just conceived Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, her “visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to His people” (Catechism paragraph 717).

“Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as ‘the mother of my Lord’” (495).

We join in Elizabeth’s greeting whenever we say the “Hail Mary,” which includes key phrases from this Gospel passage:

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth is the first in the long succession of generations who have called Mary blessed….Mary is blessed among women because she believed in the fulfillment of the Lord’s word (2676).

Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother (2677).

Because of Mary’s singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to entrust supplications and praises to her (2682).

In this way we honor God, Who Himself has assigned her this mission in salvation history:

Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it (964).

What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ (487).

Question for reflection: How have I welcomed Mary in my own life?