In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Protagonists of history and trendsetters usually are prominent people. The Scriptures and the Christmas story reveal an alternative plot for history, highlighting the little people who, with grace, turn out to be the significant ones!
The Israelites were tiny, surrounded by large pagan countries.
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to rule in Israel …
Elizabeth, a barren woman, was expecting. Zechariah, her husband and priest, became mute while Elizabeth becomes filled with the Holy Spirit. An unexpected reversal on chosen-ness and status! Young Mary, bearing the unborn Jesus, serves as instrument of God.
With Christmas, we’ll learn who recognizes the newborn Jesus and who rejects him.
As Advent concludes, let’s ask ourselves – for our own good! – Do I connect, regularly, with God’s little ones, who have a unique wisdom and insight?
—Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He serves as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, Texas, where he ministers to people who are migrants and refugees.
Loving God, let me experience people and reality with Christ-like eyes and heart.
—Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ