The Fourth Sunday of Advent–an Ordinary Glimpse

Advent 4 candleToday’s Gospel reading reminds us of the powerful imagery of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.  The profound hearing of Mary’s greeting causes the baby in Elizabeth’s womb to leap for joy?  How often do we leap for joy when we hear a greeting?

Each day we are all faced with various greetings, the greetings of our spouses, siblings, children, co-workers, customers and even our pets.  Genuine greetings speak to us at our deepest level, opens us up to the transformation that can come from the encounter of the other person.  How do we greet another?  How do we open ourselves up to be greeted?

Do we walk by someone and not even make eye-contact or greet them?  We all have moments in which we can do better with our greetings of each other.  When we are genuine in our greeting it moves strangers to friends.  Each one of us has the power to transform our relationships and how we greet one another? Including who we greet each day?

It is significant that during this time of year when we celebrate the birth of Christ, the light of the world, we celebrate it during some of our darkest days of the year.  Our greetings can shine a new light on our relationships and brighten the day of someone who has been marginalized or even offer a moment of transformation for ourselves.

Are greetings are opportunities for us to share in the life of Christ and to be like Mary and to give birth to Christ in our time and place.

“We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us.” —Meister Eckhart, 1260-1328, German Dominican mystic

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