IV SUNDAY OF ADVENT
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?
You don't owe me anything, she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."
He said..... "Then I thank you from my heart."
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also.
Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled! They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.
Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case. After a long struggle, the battle was won.
Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words.....
"Paid in full with one glass of milk. Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.
Blessed are you among women
The service of Mary at Elizabeth’s house is full of humility and sincerity; it is natural and human because Mary is human, humble and sincere. It is, maybe for this reason that we are surprised and embarrassed hearing about this, because our life became already too complicated and not sincere and not humble. God won’t from us any kind of a special and extraordinary actions and activities. He became a man in the simplicity and even austerity of a manger; He lived among us accepting all human conditions and limitations but sin, and He gave us the natural human feelings and emotions like sincerity, honesty, genuineness, openness, cordiality, helpfulness, kindness. And finally He expects that all this will be an experience of our daily life. He gave us even His own Mother to be our Mother with all her maternal tenderness.
This we can see in today’s Gospel when Mary is visiting Elizabeth to help her older aunt, because Mary understands, is compassionate and kind in all her acts. She comes to help, to be useful, to serve and to be careful, vigilant, and watchful. She will be the same during the wedding in Cana of Galilee. This is Mary, the Mother of God.
And Jesus … Even before he is born, He already comes to serve and not to be served. It is through service we will recognize him as Lord. Later on he will tell his disciples, "You call me Master and Lord and you are right and yet I am the one who washes your feet. You go and do the same" (John 13:13-15). Today’s Gospel is certainly teaching us how to be sincere and helpful, cordial and kind. How to say each day “Yes” to all and everybody I am encountering in may daily life?
It’s a kind of invitation to follow. Jesus does not only do all this for us while we sit back and wait to be "saved". He invites us to say with him to the Father: "Here I am! I am coming to obey your will."
We are about to celebrate Christmas very soon, this very night. Probably all our other preparations have been made or we are up to our eyes making them. But have we made the most important preparation of all? Yes, to the Father, Yes, to Jesus, Yes to all that we will experience in the coming year, Yes to every call that God makes and will make of us, Yes to everybody whom I will meet in my life?