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Wednesday, Fourth Week of Advent: Leap For Joy!

December 21, 2011

Blessed St. Peter Canisius’ Day!

You can find his story here.

Here’s today’s O Antiphon:
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 9:1, John 8:12 & 12:46, Psalm 19:6-7)

Hear in kindness, O Lord,
the prayers of Your people,
that those who rejoice
at the coming of Your Only Begotten Son in our flesh
may, when at last He comes in glory,
gain the reward of eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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)

Those little children on Christmas morning are onto something.

Our King can hardly wait!

Like a small child bounding gleefully toward the tree on Christmas morning despite any obstacle,
so God bounds joyfully toward us across any hills or mountains that might get in His way.

Hark! my lover–here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills
-Song of Songs 2:8

Rising, Mary, in those days,
went with haste
into the hill country of Judah.
-Luke 1:39 (emphasis added)

She didn’t travel alone!
Hidden within those words is our King,
nestled in Mary’s womb,
rising, hastening over the hills with the exuberance of love.

He’s excited to be here!
Never mind tall buildings–our God springs over mountains to get to us!
He can’t wait for the mountains to be leveled, the hills smoothed down.
He leaps right over them.

For the sake of the joy which lay before Him
He endured the cross,
heedless of its shame
-Hebrews 12:2

Heedless…of the mountains of agony, shame, and even death
–He scarcely even noticed–
for the sake of the joy which lay before Him…

That joy is you!

He will rejoice over you with gladness…
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals
-Zephaniah 3:17

God’s love is not some abstract, stagnant, vague wish on your behalf.
He’s passionate!
He comes running to sweep you off your feet,
to swing you around the room for the sheer joy of it!

He longs for you to leap into His arms in an answering surge of joy.

Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!
-Song of Songs 2:13

Shout for joy…!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart…!
-Zephaniah 3:14

There’s really no room for a half-hearted response here.
No, “Well, I suppose maybe…let me think about it…”

Are you in or aren’t you?!

St. John the Baptist got it right:

The moment your greeting sounded in my ears,
the baby leapt in my womb for joy
-Luke 1:44

The Blessed Virgin seconded him:

my spirit rejoices in God my savior
-Luke 1:47

(The word she uses for “rejoice”
comes from two root words meaning “much” and “to jump for joy.”)

Those little children on Christmas morning are onto something.

Our King can hardly wait!

Neither should we!

(The good news is that we don’t have to
–He comes to us every day in every Mass
just as eagerly as He comes on Christmas morning!)

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