LK 1:39-45
Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 20, 2015

I began my reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent, relating how during the last ten minutes of a recent visit, and sensing my concern for her well-being, my 90-something-year-old widowed mother asked: Would you be more comfortable if I were to leave the house and move to assisted living? Quite honestly, at the time, had I said out loud (because I was certainly thinking it) YES, I WOULD BE, I’m fairly certain that she, in turn, would have replied…”Well, I’ll give it some thought…maybe in a few years, I’ll move.”

Ironically, before we light the pink (rose-colored) candle marking the Third Sunday of Advent, she took a bad fall. Although she couldn’t STAND AND MOVE…she was first transported to the hospital for hip surgery, then on to rehab in hopes that soon she will be able to, once again, STAND AND MOVE on her own. After that her future is uncertain, except for this: She will continue to move in the direction her life’s path has always led her…TOWARDS CHRIST…WHO IS ALWAYS MOVING CLOSER TO US. About any of our futures, we know this much to be true: Christ is always moving toward us with outstretched arms.

The Sunday Readings throughout this Advent Season have inspired the mantra: STAND AND MOVE! We Christians should not be a sedentary people who merely sit and wait. While it is absolutely true that we are waiting for Christ to return in all of His glory, it is also true…that we should go out to greet Him…and also that we should bring Him to those who do not know Him yet.

We light the final candle on the evergreen wreath as we hear the story of The Visitation. This Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is the story of two holy women, both surprised by their present circumstances, uncertain about their futures, but fully responsive to what God was asking of them. For her part, Mary STOOD AND MOVED so as to bring The Christ within her to her cousin Elizabeth, who STOOD AND RAN OUT to greet her and the child that she was carrying. Mary and Elizabeth are true action figures who should inspire each of us to continue to move through the Christmas Season, certain that we are always moving towards Christ.