Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
(Song of Songs 2:8-14; Luke 1:39-45)
Pope Francis’ itinerary in Mexico has been announced. He will visit the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the country’s patron, in the capital. But that is the only major commercial center that he will go to. Rather than Guadalajara and Monterrey, Francis will travel to San Cristóbal de las Casas, Morelia, and Ciudad Juarez. These cities have undergone grave troubles recently. The pope’s intentions are obvious. He intends to comfort victims of violence and poverty. God seems to show the same concern in today’s gospel.
Two women take center stage. Elizabeth suffered the disgrace of never having a child. Mary has shown implicit obedience to God’s word by rushing to Elizabeth. Both represent the poor who continue trusting despite the hardships they face. Now God is acting on their behalf.
We may never duplicate the humility of Elizabeth and the obedience of Mary. But we can imitate their example. We can curb our desire for recognition and our need to have things our way. When we do, we will know the full joy of Christmas. We will realize that God has truly come to share with us His peace.