The Gospel Today
Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“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.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
Reflection (Sem. Justin G. Gatus)
I remember that as a kid, I always saw to it that I was the first one to look if there were any visitors in our house. Whenever I would hear knocking at our gate, I would race with everyone because I wanted to see and greet the visitor, whether they be real guests or someone wanting to buy ice or ice candy.
Even until now, I love to entertain visitors at our home. I can say that the eagerness to greet and welcome visitors is already instilled in me. There is this certain happy feeling knowing that there are visitors who want to visit our home. This is why, in return, I always welcome them with a warm smile and a joyful heart.
Our Gospel for today is the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth. Both of them bore a child in their wombs, Jesus and St. John the Baptist. Upon hearing Mary’s greeting, the infant inside Elizabeth leaped for joy! It is as if John welcomed Jesus who was visiting their home. Indeed, Elizabeth was also filled with the Holy Spirit and had joy in her heart!
The Gospel today invites me to be always welcoming to the surprises of God in my life. Every day, as I wake up in the morning, I pray to God, and welcome Him and all of His surprises, challenges, blessings and graces in store for the day! God visits us every day, but there are times when we cannot welcome Him because we have closed our doors and we cannot distinguish and hear His knocking in our hearts.
The Gospel also invites us to be grateful and appreciative of our everyday visits and encounters with Him through His blessings.
In my seminary formation, I can say that every day is a new day — new chance, new hope, and new opportunity to love and serve the Lord through my brothers and the whole community; a new day to obey and do His most Holy will for His greater glory! It is also a new day to expect Jesus visiting us carrying the Good News of our Salvation. And like Elizabeth and John, I must joyfully welcome God in my everyday life!