Imagine Sunday's Gospel from these mothers' perspectives
by Sister Sally Ann Brickner
When you relate your life story what memories do you share about your mother? Does she have a place of prominence as you describe your childhood and adolescent years? Do you also tell how you related to her in your adulthood?
As I reflected on Mathew’s Gospel verses chosen for this third Sunday of Advent, I found myself imagining an encounter between Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Though neither is mentioned in this passage, they must have been aware of and concerned for their sons. Perhaps Mary again visited and consoled her cousin Elizabeth upon hearing that John had been imprisoned by Herod Antipas who was tetrarch at the time. And Elizabeth must have rejoiced with her cousin, Mary, as she pondered the wonders that Jesus was working among the poor and downtrodden in Galilee. These two courageous and faith-filled women must have been filled with deep-seated hope for the well-being of their sons and for receptivity to the messages of repentance their sons conveyed to God’s Chosen People.
Elizabeth and Mary were women chosen by God to be part of salvation history. Our own mothers, too, are part of our own story of salvation history. Like Elizabeth and Mary, our mothers no doubt experienced patient endurance as described by St. James, waiting in joyful hope for the fulfillment of God’s designs in and through their children. As Advent figures, they exemplify the virtues we need to have as we celebrate anew the inbreaking of God into the renewal of all creation.
May we rejoice with gladness for God’s faithfulness to us expressed through the prayers and the love of our mothers!