The Hebrew title “Messiah” means “anointed”. In biblical times olive oil was used to anoint people as a way of signifying their special work. Aaron was anointed in this fashion to mark his mission as high priest. Kings were anointed to mark their mission as earthly leaders of God’s People. Jesus is the Messiah because He is God’s Anointed One, the fulfillment of all the prophecies.
The title “Christ” is the Greek word for “anointed.”
Luke 1:39-45 / 4th Sunday of Advent [C]
As the final preparation for Christmas, the Gospel Reading relays how Mary travels to visit her relative Elizabeth who similarly is with child. Mary is not the one who announces Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Rather, the Holy Spirit causes the child in Elizabeth’s womb to “leap for joy.” According to God’s grand design, the Old is fulfilled by the New. That is, Christ Jesus is the interpretive key for the Old Covenant. The full meaning of all that precedes Jesus is seen only in His light.
A TIME OF HOPE
Today’s Gospel recounts the joyous meeting of two mothers. Of course, we know that God is the One behind the exuberant encounter when Mary obediently hastens to make her way to visit her beloved cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-44).
What great joy Mary imparts to our souls! Whenever we turn to her she leads us closer to Jesus. For me, Mary’s wholehearted hope and trust in God’s loving care inspires me to keep my sights set squarely on Christ’s coming, especially as I experience temptations of impatience and discouragement. I, too, can expect God to reward me when I do something good. And then, when a difficulty arises and expectations are not met, I want to pout and complain. Mary’s example gives me perspective and inspiration to be more patient and generous – even when others are pressing upon me unreasonably and events unfold unexpectedly. It is Our Lady’s intercession that help to keep hope alive within me. Please join me in asking Mary to pray with you and to pray for you as Jesus draws ever near.