Sunday, December 23

Luke 1:39-45 is today’s Gospel reading and, for those who pray the Rosary, very familiar. The short version is The Visitation. Mary goes to her cousin Elizabeth’s and is greeted, as the Mother of Messiah, with great joy. Both Elizabeth and the baby in her womb, little John who is blessed to be the forerunner of Christ, express joy in the arrival of Mary, the Mother of God, and God Himself made manifest in the flesh. Although still hidden from natural sight Jesus is there to be seen with the eyes of faith.

Today, there for eyes of faith to see, the Christ Child (Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8.) is with us. There for eyes of faith because He remains hidden from natural sight, veiled by God with bread and wine. Elizabeth received Him with joy and so should we. In two more days we will celebrate His birth. We will attend Christmas Mass with all of the earthly beauty our parish can muster. The trees, the lights, the flowers, and the smiles on children’s faces. They, the children, are all caught up in the expectation of receiving. And today, Christmas day, is one of the best days of the year to do that. We all know it’s better to give than to receive. But I don’t think Paul had Communion in mind when he wrote that. Jesus said we needed to become like little children in order to enter into the Kingdom of God. Christmas, with a child-like expectation of receiving, is the perfect time to do that. Whatever may be under the tree at home, however fine and beautiful that gift may be, here on the Altar is One infinitely greater. One meant for a child, regardless of age, to receive.

Christmas Mass. When you go think about the joy felt by Elizabeth and John. Look at the faces of the children around you there in church and see the happiness and joy, the happiness and joy experienced when expectantly waiting to receive a wonderful gift. A gift much desired. And then look at the Altar. Of all the beautiful things and people you can look at right now, there at Christmas Mass, the two things that are paramount are His Gift to you and your child-like heart. Together there is nothing more beautiful, and no more wonderful a gift from either Him to you or you to Him, than these two things combined in love.

Merry Christmas. 🙂

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One Comment

  1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Jude-Marian.


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