The Mother of Life
The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Thomas J. Euteneuer
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 04, Number 43
December 18, 2009
Reproduced with Permission
Human Life International

Advent is a season that is full of life and there is a very good reason for that - namely, Mary, the one who brings us Life Himself!

Mary, the pregnant mother of Jesus, is the focus of this Fourth, and last, Sunday of Advent. It is fitting that Mary takes us the last mile of the Advent journey to Christ because that is Mary's mission and vocation in life: she gives birth to Christ, not only in our world, but also in our hearts.

In the gospel of the Visitation we see her going forth to visit her cousin Elizabeth and to be present to those who are waiting in wonder for the unfolding of a profound mystery. They are awaiting a Messiah, and only with the arrival of Mary do they understand that the Savior is indeed among them - and He has come to them as an unborn child! Mary, in bringing the Savior to Elizabeth and John, becomes the very first missionary of Life. After receiving the Word, we see her in motion to communicate that saving Word to others. We witness her giving hope to a desperate world.

Mary made that difficult journey through "the hill country of Judah" as a pregnant woman - seemingly without resources or support - in order to show herself in solidarity with another pregnant woman who, it was revealed to her, was part of the mystery. She did not plan to be pregnant, nor did she know what the future held for her or her child. In actual fact, she only knew the next step of the journey, which she carried out with love, devotion and absolute assurance that she had discovered her true identity, that of bringing this Child to birth and carrying Him to others.

As we prepare for Christmas, it is imperative that we adopt the same missionary attitude of Mary toward those who are most in need of God's grace. We remember in a special way those whose lives have been changed by the great mystery of pregnancy and find themselves in dire circumstances for which they may be unprepared. We unite ourselves with them in the same way that Mary united herself with Elizabeth, first in prayer and then in presence or tangible assistance to their needs, as we are able.

In the missionary spirit of Mary, let us keep in mind the many thousands of women and families who are served every day across our world by the heroic men and women who work in crisis pregnancy centers. These are the unsung heroes of the pro-life movement who day-in and day-out give of themselves so that women may not make the fatal mistake of aborting a precious human being. The lives of millions of unborn children hang in the balance every day while some kind soul in a pregnancy center reaches out to offer support to the women and families in crisis.

In this last week of Advent, let us also remember all the unborn children who are in danger of abortion. They are the brothers and sisters of the unborn Christ Child who came into this world to give us life - life in abundance!