Homily December 20, 2015 the 4th Sunday of Advent
As we begin the last week of Advent, our gospel turns to two women of Israel who are pregnant and related. Mary, the younger of the two has traveled to see her older cousin and assist her as she is an older woman. It is a picture of two simple women meeting, but the significance is far greater. As we look back throughout religious history, The choices and actions that God made were never the grandiose and showy choices that most of us would make. God always chose believing unpretentious and simple people to do his work. He made Kings only because of the people’s hardness of heart and desire to keep on a par with other nations. His prophets, his intervenors, his priests were all from his people, standing out only because he chose them. Mary and Elizabeth were two such women and they were chosen and would be remembered for generations to come. Elizabeth accepted her announcement and was waiting for a son. Mary while doing the same, was more active and ran to her cousin when she heard she too was pregnant. Luke takes the meeting of the two to affirm Mary and the infant she carried.
The lesson for all of us is to remember that God uses the simple, regular ordinary order of things to bring about his kingdom. Certainly his kingdom encompasses all and all are called to follow Christ’s path, that path is not lined with gold or riches, and the way is not always easy or on a downward slope. Life can be hard and painful, yet if we turn it over to God it becomes easy and manageable. Christ and his Spirit are present in us all, and only when we recognize that he is there do we really find the way. Christ truly meant it when he said “what you do for the least of these, you do for me.” again we are reminded that only in seeing and doing the ordinary, is it possible to see and do the extraordinary. Life is a day in, day out moving forward at a steady pace. Few are called to stand out or above or to be some kind of leader or figure of note. Yet in God’s eyes, the person who gives and gives each day, every day is the one who is the good and faithful servant. So, let us remember that even if we think that we could never be extraordinary, that in God’s way we are extraordinary by doing the ordinary in a loving consistent way.