Fourth Sunday of Advent-2021

Written on: December 15, 2021

Written by Sr. Mary Elizabeth Looby, GNSH

First Reading: Micah 5:1-4a
Responsorial Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

Mary said, “Yes! I am God’s own” and the angel left her. The angel left as quietly as he had come, leaving her to hold the precious treasure of God’s promise. Did she continue to ponder as was her pattern? Surely wonder filled her being.

So much filled her heart and head. Who to tell about this encounter? How to tell them about what had happened to her? Her parents, Anne and Joachim, and Joseph, all need to know! When to tell them? She must have taken some time to just celebrate the invitation and gift, and shape her sharing with those significant to her.

She must go to Elizabeth to share her awesome news and to celebrate and assist her in the final months of her pregnancy. Elizabeth is older and in her first pregnancy, and is 90 miles away! Plans must be made. It’s not likely she could travel alone; the road is not safe for a young woman to travel alone for several days.

Tender conversations with Anne and Joachim were needed. They would understand angel encounters. They knew about her coming to them by virtue of angel visitations. Would they support her going to Elizabeth for three months? And Joseph, ah Joseph, would he still want her, support her, understand such awesome news plus the need to visit Elizabeth? I imagine those conversations happening in awed tones, triggering mixed thoughts and feelings!

Plans were made for her travel. Elizabeth’s condition was known now. Wonder, charity, and need prompted her traveling there. Mary’s excitement heightened as she drew near Elizabeth and Zachariah’s home.

Visitation explodes in joy! Elizabeth recognized her as the Mother of God. She had to say nothing! Elizabeth knew! What a relief, what a joy! Both women glowing in pregnancy and in celebration of what God was doing in them! Let us magnify the Lord with them!


For pondering: 

  1. Imagine the conversations of Mary with her parents and Joseph.
  1. Imagine the relief of Mary as she greeted Elizabeth.
  1. Have a dialogue with one of them, or some of them. Speak to them as one speaks to a friend. You know these people and this story. Have them fill you in on the fuller aspects of the encounters.

Image credit: Jump for Joy, Corby Eisbacher, artist

Fourth Sunday Advent 2021– print copy

6 thoughts on “Fourth Sunday of Advent-2021

  1. Sr. Sharon says:

    Visitation explodes in joy! Love that!
    Thank you, Mary Elizabeth.

  2. S. Patsy Geary says:

    No more need be said…simply ponder.

  3. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you Sister for your reflections.

    I will be able to imagine the conversations Mary will have with her parents and Joseph. I will try to imagine the conversation with Elizabeth, but; it will be the most difficult for me.

    Take joy this Advent!

  4. Arlene Kisker says:

    It must have been a wonder. I cannot imagine the conversations between Mary and her parents and Joseph also. Then to visit her cousin, Elizabeth – I will always love this story of consent, commitment and love. Arlene.

  5. Kay says:

    I loved this reflection!! Much to think about!! Thanks so much!! Sr. Loretta’s sister, Kay

  6. Sr. Eileen Spanier, GNSH says:

    Beautiful reflection! Thanks Mary.
    Let us all “explode with joy” at His coming…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please be aware that comments are held for moderation and may not post for up to 24 hours. We reserve the right to reject comments that are inappropriate on our website.

The Grey Nuns