13 December 20034th Sunday Advent CLuke 1: 39-44

 

St. PatrickŪs parish is in Kowloon, Hong Kong.There are four weekend Masses including a childrenŪs Mass at 10:45, Sunday.This is the parish where I was formerly pastor. [email protected].Cf. also Social Concerns Education: www.acpp.org --›› Fr. Gene Thalman M.M.]

 

JESUS--THE TRAVELING KIND

(ChildrenŪs Mass)

 

››››››››››› Before babies are born, where do they live?Yes, they live in their mothers.Before babies are born, they spend a lot of time with their mothers.Where mother goes, baby goes, too.Babies donŪt complain.Chances are that mother is a satisfactory companion and it beats staying home alone.

 

››››››››››› One thing we know for you sure.Jesus liked to travel.He did a lot of walking since there was no public transportation when he lived. He still likes to travel.This morning I am going to tell you about JesusŪ very first trip.Since he hadnŪt been born yet, he was still inside Mary.

 

GODŪS WORD: žThereupon Mary set out, proceeding in haste into the hill country to a town of Judah.ÓLuke 1: 39.

 

To appreciate St. LukeŪs account of MaryŪs visit to her cousin Elizabeth, we have to go back to about 1500 years before Mary lived.

 

Ancient peoples thought that the gods were not much interested in ordinary folks.The gods enjoyed themselves in their palatial residences: in the sky someplace, in a temple, on the top of a mountain.Occasionally the gods might take an excursion to see how the human beings were carrying on. If our ancestors didnŪt know about the true God, and wanted to pay their respects to one of the gods or ask for a favor, they had to walk to the place where the god lived.That could take days or even months.

 

But when the chosen people escaped from the slavery of Egypt and started their forty years of wandering in the desert, they made a startling discovery:God accompanied them! For that reason the chosen people constructed a little coffer [trunk, chest] 125 X 75 X 75cm [five feet long, three feet wide, and three feet high].It was the Ark of the Covenant.That was to be GodŪs mobile home. At each new location, the Israelites assembled a tent and placed the Ark inside. God was always with them in those forty years of moving from place to place in the desert.Their God was the žtraveling kind.Ó

 

Now we can appreciate why St. Luke told us about MaryŪs trip to see her cousin Elizabeth.One of MaryŪs beautiful titles is the žArk of the CovenantÓ She carried Jesus in her bodyůjust like our mother carried us around in her body for nine months.Wherever our mother went, we had no choice but to accompany her. There was no way we could stay home and watch TV while mom went shopping.

 

 

››››››››››› As soon as she heard the good news that Jesus lived in her body, Mary set out for a little town in Judah, a three dayŪs walk from MaryŪs home in Nazareth.She wanted to share the good news with her cousin Elizabeth.Jesus didnŪt have much choice but happily went along for the ride.

 

››››››››››› Today Luke tells us what happened when Mary and Elizabeth met.

 

žWhen Elizabeth heard MaryŪs greeting, the baby [John the Baptist] leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in a loud voice: ŽBlest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb. ÷The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy.ŪÓ Luke 1: 41-44 (NAB)

 

LESSON ››This morning Luke reminds the early Christians and we of St. PatrickŪs community that through our Baptism and Confirmation, Jesus Christ has come to live in our community and in each one of us.Where we go, Jesus has no choice but to accompany us.Jesus is our constant companion in good times and bad. Jesus is our passenger.We are like his chauffer.And when we bring Jesus to others, joyful can happenůlike today when Mary meet her cousin Elizabeth!

 

››››››››››› Since Jesus is our passenger and constant companion, we should often think about his presence during the day.We always take him to the places to which he might wish to go.We are always delighted when he brings joy to someone we meet.

 

OUR RESPONSE: During these next four days, we will enjoy thinking of ourselves as the chauffeurs of Jesus Christ.Each day try to see how many times you can remember that Jesus dwells in you.Maybe the first day only once and twice.But hopefully as time goes on, you will think more often of your divine Guest.Each evening alone or with your family, recall the places to which you brought Jesus that day and the nice things that Jesus did when you and he met someone.

 

FINALE:If you intend to recall at least three times each day--during these special days--before Christmas--that Jesus is both your companion and passenger, please open both your eyes.

 

 

HOMILETIC NOTES AND STUFF

13 December 20034th Sunday Advent CLuke 1: 39-44

 

ONE WORD:Mobility

 

TWO WORDS: Mobility of Christ

 

THEME:Christ is our companion and passenger.

 

TEXT:

 

žThereupon Mary set out, proceeding in haste into the hill country to a town of Judah.ÓLuke 1: 39.(NAB)

 

CHURCHŪS POINT OF VIEW

 

[The Christian is called to loving and attentive relationship with Christ at all times.]žIn the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.÷Thus the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him.This communion of life is always possible because through Baptism, we have already been united with Christ.ÓCatechism of the Catholic Church, (Mission Hills: Benziger Publishing Co, 1994), #2565, p. 618.

 

››››››››››› [The Christian is united with Christ.]žAccording to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through baptism into communion with ChristŪs death, is buried with him and rises with him: ÷Ó Ibid. #1227, p. 315.

 

››››››››››› [By Baptism, the Christian houses the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is our companion and our passenger throughout our lifeŪs journey.Where the Christian goes, there goes Christ.] žBaptism ÷makes the neophyte÷an adopted son [daughter] of God, who has become a Žpartaker of the divine nature,Ū member of Christ÷and a temple of the Holy Spirit.ÓIbid, #1265, p. 322.

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

žArkÓ, Xavier Leon-Dufour,ed.,trans.P. Joseph Cahill S.J.Biblical Dictionary (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1967),p. 21.

Chewing, Digesting and DOING GodŪs Word

13 December 20034th Sunday Advent CLuke 1: 39-44

NAME_________ Grade_____________

 

1.Name three people whom Jesus visited in Judea before he was born:››

››››

A. _________››› B.________››› C. ____________

 

2.Who chauffeured Jesus to visit these people?_____________

 

3.›› According to todayŪs gospel, when Jesus wants to bring joy or hope to someone, what means of transport might he use? ___________________

››››››

4.››› When did we first become JesusŪ chauffeurs? _____________

 

5.›››› (Optional) Tell about a time in which you traveled and you it would

have been important for you to remember that Jesus was your passenger and your companion.

 

ANSWERS:DONŪT PEEK!

1.›› Zachariah, Cousin Elizabeth, baby John the Baptist.

2.›› Mary, JesusŪ mother.

3.››› Christians/you and me/ us

4.››› At Baptism [when Trinity took up residence in us]