Fourth Sunday of Advent“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Luke 1:39-45
Reflection by Elisa Raubach, current Maggie’s Place Volunteer
At the Annunciation, Mary agreed to do the will of God. Her Fiat brought about our salvation when the God of the universe was knit together in her womb. Soon after Mary begins to ponder this mystery in her heart, she goes in haste to her cousin Elizabeth. The two women did not expect or plan to be pregnant at this time—one after many long years of barrenness and the other at a mere fourteen years old and without a husband. Mary is young, poor, and afraid, yet she goes to her cousin to console, be consoled, serve, and celebrate. She is met with the embrace of Elizabeth who sees Mary’s pregnancy as a source of joy and exultation. Before Mary even explains what has happened, Elizabeth knows in her heart and in her womb Who is present. The mother of her Lord has come, He is hidden as an unborn child.
So often Christ is hidden in our lives: in the poor, the elderly, the sick, the immigrant, the imprisoned, the unborn child. Just as Mary and Elizabeth embraced in order to encounter the hidden Christ, we too must embrace and serve others to encounter Jesus. He is hidden beneath disguises of poverty, fear, and loneliness. At Maggie’s Place, we strive each day to recognize the hidden Christ in the pregnant women and babies we serve—it’s not always easy to do, but there is much joy, hope, and love. Like Elizabeth, we seek to welcome moms who have given their own Fiat to life and love.
Focus on Spirituality
“In the mystery of the Annunciation and Visitation, Mary is the very model of the life we should lead. First of all, she welcomed Jesus in her existence; then she shared what she had received. Every time we receive Holy Communion, Jesus the Word becomes flesh in our life…Thus, the first Eucharist was such: Mary’s offering of her Son in her, in whom he had set up the first altar. Mary, the only one who could affirm with absolute confidence, “this is my body,” from the first moment offered her own body, her strength, all her being to form the Body of Christ”—Mother Teresa
A Season of Service
It can be so easy to go about our day without ever pausing to recognize Christ hidden in the people around us. Where can you embrace Christ in the hidden and the ordinary? Maybe God is calling you to reach out and serve your roommate, your grandmother, or a total stranger at the grocery store. Offer words of consolation or an act of kindness to someone who may be in need. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and be attentive to His promptings—be ready to welcome the hidden Christ with joy.
Come, Lord Jesus. Thank you for coming to us so vulnerable and needy, as an infant in the womb and arms of Mary. Grant us the grace needed to prepare more room in our hearts for You. May we seek after You hidden in others as we prepare for Christmas. Help us to see You in the poor, know You in the lonely, and love You in the fearful. May our hearts always be open to encountering You in the unexpected. Amen.
How has your faith grown during this season of Advent?
Advent: A Season of Service is a collaborative effort of Catholic Volunteer Network and theCatholic Apostolate Center.