Gospel Reflection 4th Sunday of Advent Year C

Making haste to help
In the not too distant days, we would add to the Rosary , the Litany of our Lady (mirror of justice/tower of ivory) with all the various titles ascribed to Our Lady. Pope Francis remarked that it would be nice to add to the litanies of Our Lady one that says; “Our Lady, who sets out in haste, pray for us.
it is characteristic of Mary that she is constantly ready to help us. She left in haste when she received the announcement that she would be the mother of Jesus, and also the news that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant. She did not wait or say “shouldn’t I care for my health and my cousin will probably have friends who will help.”
She is a mother who always comes in haste when we need help. Mary is very much in her body. The Word speaks and she is pregnant, next she visits Elizabeth, for a pilgrim always  makes their body available.
We are at the edge of Christmas celebrating that moment when the “Word was made flesh” as we pray in the Angelus every day. Every expectant mother is aware of the importance of time and time seems to be at a premium at this time of year.
The recent Presidential Election in the Republic of Ireland (campaign ongoing as I write) unearthed a lot of personal scrutiny of the candidates. It’s not pretty at the best of times as the most negative spin possible to put on an opponent is exploited. It’s good to remember at this time of year that it was into a world mired in darkness that God chose to intervene with the Incarnation. We all can bemoan the times and circumstances we live in- but every age is a time for people to make haste to help. Not to think that someone else will do it. Maybe if we did, it could be said of us that (like Mary) we made “haste” to help.

Here is an event which is touching but ordinary: two pregnant women meet. Yet the children borne by these two women will play an extraordinary part in the unfolding of God’s plan. In Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth, life hastens to meet human hope.

If you can find the time, look up Ruth Mary Fox’s poem “carrying Christ” it mentions the Visitation and imagines us all as Christ-bearers like Mary… “

I walk life’s crowded highway, jostling men

Who seldom think of God. To these I pray

That I may carry Christ, for it may be

Some would not know of Him except through me.”