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Sunday Message 20th December 2009 4th Sunday of Advent
Saturday, December 19th 2009

THE WORD
Jumping for joy Lk: 1:39-45

Every time we pray the Hail Mary we say the words, ‘Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb’…’

These words come from today’s Gospel and recall Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth when both were pregnant. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy, while Elizabeth expresses her own delight at receiving a visit from the mother of ‘my Lord.’

Advent is moving swiftly to a climax, and Elizabeth’s joy is shared by all who anticipate the coming of Christ. It is no wonder that even the baby in her womb dances.

Christ is very near to us.

SAY
Say the Hail Mary slowly each day this week

DO
Visit someone over Christmas you ordinarily don’t like spending time with.

LEARN

  • The christian has been given a gift to share with others
  • Christ is the peace we long for in our lives
  • Like Mary, we are called to be Christ bearers

PRAY
Pray for all those who are lonely and have nobody to visit them at this festive time.

REFLECT
Sharing good news is exciting. We are keen to do it but these days when we have news to share, it is rare that we rush off to tell people face to face.
Instead, we send an email or text message. We might pick up the phone and actually speak to someone but even that is happening less frequently. Despite the fact that we can communicate instantly with people thousands of miles away, we seem to be communicating less and less on a human level. There is something sad about this. The real human contact shared between Mary and Elizabeth is a gift, and our current life styles mean that we may not enjoy that gift as much as we should.
Visiting people is important because relationships grow when we can share experiences and emotions in the present moment. Would the baby in Elizabeth’s womb have leapt with joy had Mary and Elizbeth been emailing? Often it is only when we are physically close to another that we can appreciate what he or she is really feeling and thinking. It is easy to pretend when we don’t have to look into another person’s eyes.

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