A pregnancy is always full of expectation and hope. The term ‘expecting’ itself is so often used to indicate pregnancy. “When are you expecting?” There is all the excitement, wonder and curiosity around a pregnancy as well as the fear and trembling. In a family everyone lives those months in patient, or not so patient, anticipation. The new birth will change everyone’s life.
Today’s gospel picks up on something of this experience. This passage is full of energy, movement and hope: two women living in expectation of the birth of their children; two women giving the praise to God the giver of life; two women believing that God’s promise that Abraham and Sarah’s descendants would be as many as the stars, has been kept.
And Advent is the time for us to expect that God will not let us down in our day and in our time. God will visit us just as he has visited the many witnesses of faith that are attested to in the Scriptures and in the life of the Church. When God visits us, God puts in motion the completion of our own being. Each of us is an incomplete work in progress! None of us can claim to have reached the depths of love, hope and faith to which we are called. Advent helps us to put all of that into perspective. We can celebrate the presence of God already among us and be grateful for our lives and the blessings we have. We can also call on the Lord to visit us once more and bring to completion the creation that he has begun in us. That is why we pray ‘Come Lord Jesus’ continuously throughout Advent.
As we approach the final week of preparation for the great Christmas feast let us join Mary and Elizabeth in their excitement, expectation and hope about what the in-breaking of God into our world could mean for us this Christmas.