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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Sunday of the 4th Week of Advent Download This Homily

December 23, 2018

Sunday of the 4th Week of Advent

 

Micah 5:1-4

 Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

Hebrews 10:5-10

Gospel LK 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. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."


Journeying With Jesus in the Company of Mary

 

There was a king in a country. He thought that there should be nobody in his country wealthier than him, and happier than him except himself. Unfortunately, the Abbot of the Abbey in his country had more wealth and happiness than the king. The king became furious and summoned him to the palace and told him, “I am going to punish you since you have more wealth, more comforts and possessions than me.  But there is a way to get away from my punishment. Answer the question which I ask you and if you say the correct answer, you will be relived from the punishment. The question is this, “How much time it would take to go around the Earth once?”  The poor Abbot couldn’t answer the question and he was sad. However, the king gave him two weeks time to give him the answer and to avoid the punishment.


 The Abbot returned to his Abbey. On the way he met a shepherd who was grazing his sheep. Abbot told him about his meeting with the king and the question he had to answer to the king with a couple of weeks. The Shepherd laughed and said “It is very easy”. You don’t worry”. You only give me your habit and I shall go as Abbot and tell the correct answer to the king’s question”. The Abbot agreed.


 The shepherd went in disguise as the Abbot. The king couldn’t recognize him. Thinking that Abbot himself came, he repeated the question, “How much time it would take to go around the Earth once?” The Shepherd answered, “If we get up with the Sun and travel with the Sun, it will take only 24 hours to go around the Earth”. The king was satisfied with his answer and sent him away.


Jesus is the Sun who is going to come on earth on Christmas Day. We are preparing to receive him.  Mary is the best person who traveled with him from Bethlehem to Calvary. Today let us decide to travel with Jesus in the company of Mary, listening his words and living his Gospel. Surely we shall receive him in our hearts on Christmas Day.


Ten qualities to learn from Mary and Elizabeth – Visitation Scene


V. 39. Mobility


Mary went in haste in haste into a Judean town in the hill country. The aim of going fast is to serve her cousin. Abraham and his family moved with haste to welcome and to show hospitality when the three angels visited him (Genesis 18: 1-12)


V.40. Concern, Care and thoughtfulness


Mary entered the house of Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth


V. 41. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leaped in Elizabeth’s womb – Experience of Spirit-filled persons in our community/society.


V. 41, b. Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit. Sharing gifts of Holy Spirit with others.


V. 42. The gift of Prophecy. “Elizabeth exclaimed with a cry, “Blessed are you among women”. V.42, b. Jesus being the source of blessing. “Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus”.


V.43. Appreciation. “Why has this happened to me that the mother of my Lord comes to me?”


V.44. Experience of Joy. “The child in my womb leaped with joy”.


V.44. Unconditional faith. “Blessed is she who believed ….” In this year of faith let us journey with Mary accepting the will of God and meeting Jesus in the manger who is wrapped in swaddling clothes


The gospel writer Luke portrays a woman to woman encounter in this passage of Visitation. In our male dominated society, women need their space and freedom to articulate their feelings and emotions and struggle one another, where there is least interference by the men-flock.


Fr. Shepherd Thelapilly CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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