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December 16, 1994     The Message
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December 16, 1994

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16, 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 "- Commentary- Mary visits Elizabeth: Confirmation of a message GOspel commentary for De. l southern Palestine. :efbe, r 18,1994, Fourth Sunday : i In scene two there is a strong auvent, Cycle C, Luke 1:39.45. 1 : i contrast to the elderly couple. The- . . I  ....  i Here Luke introduces a young . scene Luke the artist  couple engaged to be married. The Paints in today's gospel reading is i settin is in northern Palestine, us as the Visitation. The ] 1 Nazareth of Galilee. The names of , atlon is part of what is called [ L::4J m the counle" Mary and Joseph pthoeJnfaacy Gospel." Earlier V 1 Mary isfgranteda vision, just as " mraations, including the  [] Zechariah was The heavenly visi- .OSpel of Mark, had begun with a  i tor asks consent of Mar to be- heecpt! on of the ministry of John B-, FATHER I come the natural moth:r of a pust tollowed by the public DI DILGER [] child to be named Jesus. The h: of Jesus. As time went on COLUMNIST i child would only seem to be the 0us d:s would have been curl- m son of Joseph, but would actually lic life o arwh-at preceded the pub- be Son of God. Like Zechariah tions w,t Jhn the Baptist and of Jesus. Ques- Mary asks for some evidence, a sign. Zechariah Jesu re asked about the origin of John and had'been punished for asking for a sign, though thes:qUK e attempts to supply some answers to he got one. Mary, too, is given a sign but without Ui nlons, penalty. The sign will be that Elizabeth, a rela- j^t  ag various traditions about the origins of +;-0 fMar- ha become re nant in her old a e unnandJ ........  .... o j,  ,p g g . hYran , -ou, perhaps some early Christian If that is possible, then what the angel asks of' Weav:s ogether with Old Testament stories, Luke Mary must also be possible. Mary consents to the raeraor:h ese SOurces into the most beautiful and proposal. Luke intends this to be an act of faith with thT:e, stnes of Christian origins. He began in God on the part of Mary. 0fa- ,- ungln of John the Baptist It was a story Next Luke has to brin the two stories the hadvLerly couple who had longed for a child but two women, and the two stings together. 1arv Ple " tt up because of their age. The elderly cou- visits her elderly and now pregnant cousin Eliza- re naraed Elizabeth and Zechariah. The story beth As Mary enters Elizabeth's house, Eliza- of a similar story about Abraham and beth is filled with the Holy Spirit, a typical Lucan lly messenger promises both cou- touch. The baby within her leaps for joy. Eliza- they would have a son. Luke s first story beth greets Mary with a prayer so often repeated the elderly Elizabeth becoming pregnant, by us today: "Blessed are you among women and Is SCene one and takes place in Judea, in blessed is the fruit of your womb!" Elizabeth has become a prophetess, that is one who speaks a con- firmation of what had already taken place in Mary. She speaks the word of God moved by the Spirit of God as any Old Testament prophet. Mary is called, "Mother of my Lord," that is of my God. It was not the Catholic Church that first bestowed the title "Mother of God" on MAD'. It was Luke. Elizabeth pronounces Mary. blessed by God above all other women, a blessing arising not only from her mother- hood of the Son of God, but even more so because of Mary's act of faith in consenting beyond understand- ing to the divine plan. And so, Elizabeth's final words in this scene: "Blessed is she who has believed that there would be fulfillment of the what was spo- ken to her by the Lord." Scene three continues with Mary's response to Elizabeth, but that's a story for another time. What can be our response to this gospel? Mary and Elizabeth are both portrayed by Luke as people of faith. Both women believed that God would bring about something that was humanly impossible. Faith implies a trust in God because He has shown himself worthy of" trust. Faith is reaching into dark- hess without knowing what all the consequences might be. The characters portrayed in Luke's gospel are always meant by him to be examples for us. On this fourth Sunday of Advent we reach into the dark- ness. We put our hands into God's hands and believe that as he filled Elizabeth with his Holy Spirit with job' at the presence of Jesus, so he will fill us with that same Spirit of joy to prepare for that new birth of his Son within us on Christmas Day. Readings: Micah 5:1-4; Hebrews 10:510. h Sheet Metal Inc. al & Commercial Heating & Cooling Sales & Service 422-9242 I dPatricia Koch 15 S, Third Avenue, Evansville MILLER & MILLER "A family name you can trust" 424-9274 AUTO TOPS. SEAT COVERS. BOAT COVERS JOHN MANGIN Owner The Decorating Corner 21 East South Washington, IN 47501 Bus: 2- Home! 254-3087 i i ii i i Main Street STER S Pharmacy HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER 217 E Main St. Downtown Wasfilngton EUGENE WELP, OWNER Phone: 254-5141 3mi00  oea,ons 26 ,as ^vE. I," ........... BILL GREENe ( INSURANCE, INC. Church on the 50th Anmversary of I ,,,,,,, I ii the Diocese of Evansv.i!le ,'. ' , .. i ..... " Proposgd New Church For Your RED WING Pastoral Life Coordinator. Sr Ma Terence Pastoal - " . . ry Knapp, O.S.B. 't' o. vlOderatop. Rev. Gregory Spencer 1 lailies: 191 Total Parishioners: 133 Saint Nicholas eo  Main.Wadinmn III I IIIII III II II II I[ Iltll II