Carrying Christ: reflection for Sunday December 23, 2018, 4th Sunday of Advent

Carrying Christ: reflection for Sunday December 23, 2018, 4th Sunday of Advent December 22, 2018

This could be one of the great, defining questions of Advent, when an astonished Elizabeth sees her young cousin at the door and realizes the source of humankind’s salvation is about to enter her home.

“How does this happen to me?” 

How does this gift happen to any of us?  How are we so blessed to receive God’s grace in our lives?

We can only wonder.

And wonder is the perfect sentiment for these last days of Advent.  The Incarnation, God becoming man, is the most wonder-filled act in human history. Soon enough, we will sing of it, and in the middle of a dark winter night, churches will be ablaze with light, overflowing with music and joy.

But here, in this Gospel passage, it is already beginning.

And it is happening because of Mary—the visitor of the Visitation, the one who is full of grace.

Pope Benedict has called the Visitation the “first Eucharistic procession”— Mary as living tabernacle, carrying Christ to Elizabeth for adoration.

But there is more.  With this visit Mary taught us something so fundamental to our faith: we need to bring Christ to others.  

When Mary answered “yes” to the angel, she knew she had to share this, share him, with the world.  That was her great vocation.

That, too, is ours.  If you want to see the Gospel mandate, here is where it begins.  Here is our calling. Like Mary, we are called to bring Jesus in whatever way we can to a waiting world—to the lonely, the forgotten, the homebound, the neglected, the poor.

More than being just the “first Eucharistic procession,” this moment also shows us the first moment of evangelization.

What a wonder! How does this happen to any of us?

— From The Living Gospel: Daily Devotions for Advent 2018, Ave Maria Press

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