Third Sunday of Advent / Gaudete Sunday
December 12, 2021 •
To help guide us in our reflection about the Church's call to rejoice, it would be important to talk about the first person to officially rejoice at Christ's coming into the world.
We're going to set the Blessed Mother aside as we know she had joy, but the first person recorded in the Scriptures to rejoice at Chris's coming and to express that joy was John the Baptist in his mother's womb.
What did Elizabeth say when Mary came to her home and greeted her? "At the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.... Blessed are you who believed the angel's words."
So John in fact was the first - appropriately so - to rejoice at the coming of Christ. It makes sense because the prophecy the angel Gabriel gave to Zechariah about the miraculous conception of his son John, was that John would "herald the coming of the Lord." A "herald" is the one to precede the king or Lord, and let everyone know he's coming. John did this even from the womb. The moment the Blessed Mother entered into Elizabeth's presence and greeted her, John was immediately filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit - our Lord, in the womb of His Mother, consecrates John in the womb of his mother - and John rejoices.
Elizabeth says, "How should this happen to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?"
Now I want you to think about this for a moment. We can understand how John would rejoice. He was filled with the Holy Spirit by this miraculous gift, and it's his mission, his calling. ... He can't see Jesus, and yet he knows, spiritually speaking, His presence.
But how does Elizabeth know? ... What enabled her to recognize through the Holy Spirit that Mary had to have been pregnant with the Christ?
Rejoice at the presence of Christ in your life, and with His grace, be forgiven of and turn from sin.
Zep 3:14-18a; (Ps) Is 12:2-6; Phil 4:4-7; Lk 3:10-18
Homily begins at 20:01