One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

December 21, 2009

For December 21 in Advent II

Luke 1:39-45.

In the Gospel here at Mass today and tomorrow, the Blessed Virgin Mary, newly bearing our Lord in her womb, visits Elizabeth, John and us in the house of Zechariah.
The angel Gabriel has told Mary that old Elizabeth has been with child already six months.
Elizabeth knows an angelic secret of the Holy Spirit: that Mary herself is the Mother and the Ark of Elizabeth’s Lord.
Since when has Elizabeth known?
The Gospel does not say.
Nonetheless, at the sound of Mary’s greeting three persons spring into action.
First, the infant leaps for joy in Elizabeth’s womb.
Second, Holy Spirit floods Elizabeth.
Third, Elizabeth “cried out in a loud voice.”
The word in the original language is the same as “shout,” “yell,” or “scream.”
That’s what came from Elizabeth’s mouth.
Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

The infant jumping for joy in the womb of Elizabeth is John.
John and the Lord Jesus are the only two in all the Word of God who received their names from heaven even before their mothers begot them.
“John”— from the Hebrew Yochanan, meaning, “Yahweh is gracious.”
“Jesus”— from the Hebrew Yehoshua, meaning, “Yahweh is salvation.”
John’s birth is yet three months away, and his coming to the “age of reason” is years away.
Nonetheless, the Gospel has told us he is “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.”
He already has speechless knowledge of the truth dwelling in his name and that of Jesus: God is gracious salvation.
That truth is the only cause of the real joy that alone lasts forever: God is gracious salvation.
When Mary greets us in the new heavens and the new earth, we may well outscream, outyell, and outshout old St. Elizabeth, and we may well outleap St. John the Baptist.
If that is to happen, then what St. Elizabeth has said of Mary will have to become true of us also.
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
The Lord has spoken to us.
May it be done to us according to his word.
May the Holy Spirit bless and fill us that we may always choose to believe.

That God Be Glorified in All


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