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Friday, third week of Advent

December 21, 2007

Blessed St. Peter Canisuis’ Day! (look for his story in the “saints of Advent” category)

O Rising Dawn,
Splendor of eternal light
And Sun of justice
Come to give light to those sitting in darkness
And in the shadow of death

Revelation 22:16:
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things concerning the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”
(see also Isaiah 9:2, John 8:12 & 12:46, Psalm 19:6-7)

Readings:
Song of Songs: 2:8-14 (my Beloved comes to me and calls me to come away with Him)
or Zephaniah 3:14-18 (Rejoice! The God who saves you delights in you)
Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21 “Cry out with joy to the Lord, you holy ones; sing a new song to Him”
+ Luke 1:39-45 (the Visitation)

Our readings fairly leap for joy at the coming of the Lord, the Lover who rejoices over us.

“Hark! my lover–here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills” (Song of Songs 2:8).

“Be glad and exult with all your heart…the Lord your God is in your midst…He will rejoice over you with gladness” (Zephaniah 3:14, 17).

As Mary sets out in haste for the hill country of Judea, she brings Jesus, the divine Lover, “springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills” “into the midst” of Elizabeth and the unborn John the Baptist. At Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, the Love of the Trinity Personified. John the Baptist leaps for joy.

This is the whole purpose of our Advent preparations. Our Lover is coming, leaping the mountains, bounding the hills in His eagerness to rejoice over us. He wants to fill us with His Love, His Holy Spirit. He wants us to leap for joy at His coming. But that will only happen if we love Him in return, if we make room for Him, if we open our hearts and lives to Him without reservation, no matter what the cost. “I cannot offer to the Lord holocausts which cost me nothing” (II Samuel 24:24).

May we echo Elizabeth’s welcome in humble gratitude and joy as our Lord and His Mother come to us this Christmas.

Since travel is so often a part of Christmas celebrations, let’s look there for today’s treasure hunt. As we’ve seen, our Lord travels to meet us. He left the infinite comforts and joys of Heaven to make the arduous journey of human suffering for our sake. He traveled within Mary to visit Elizabeth and later to Bethlehem to be born. He fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous command and later spent the years of His public ministry on the road–so much so that He could seriously say, “the foxes have lairs, the birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). He traveled for us, because He loved us. As we travel in the coming days, may we travel with Jesus, for His sake, and for the love of others, as He did.

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