(Mic 5.1-4a; Heb 10.5-10; Lk 1.39-45)
Some weeks back I attended a reunion of students from a university hostel where I had been chaplain for five years. Most of them I had not seen for over forty years. Memories of drinking binges and crazy stunts were laid aside when I met men and women who had made significant contributions to their communities and had raised great kids. I would not claim any huge role in their later lives but was warmed by the thought that I might just have had a part in laying down some of the foundations.
Today’s readings also revolve around the insight that it is the small and apparently insignificant that turn out to be those who have made most impact. The prophet Micah proclaims that the little town of Bethlehem will give birth to a great ruler (Mic 5.1). The writer to the Hebrews sees that Jesus’ profound influence on the world started from the first moment when he determined to follow his Father’s will (Heb 5.7)
The gospel recounts the wonderful story of the very young pregnant Mary making a long and difficult journey to give comfort and support to her much older and also pregnant cousin. “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk 1.45).
Inner conversion of heart is a long and dangerous journey but even he least of us can help by allowing a friend, a family member, even a stranger to take those first few faltering steps.
Source: 4th Sunday of Advent year CThis Sunday