Greetings and Happy Christmas to you all just 2 sleeps away. I hope you have a wonderful time with those you love. A time of being together and enjoying each other’s company. A time of being grateful for the blessings you have received.
The Gospel presents to us as we count down to Christmas, two towering women Mary and Elizabeth. Two cousins coming together to share in the marvellous, mysterious things happening to them around their unborn children.
We hear, ‘Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah’. Families are travelling to be together this Christmas, just as Mary set out. Travel safe.
Why did Mary go quickly? She knew her elderly cousin needed support and she wanted to assist her with her pregnancy or perhaps she also needed the support of an older woman to discuss what was happening to her. Perhaps, Elizabeth was the only one who could really understand what was happening with Mary because she too was caught up in an event that she never thought possible.
They both knew how God had touched their lives so dramatically. Theirs was a common experience.
How blessed we are when someone close understands us and our circumstances, encourages and supports us. Someone who perhaps knows and shares in our experience. Mary and Elizabeth gave this support and understanding to one another.
Listen to ‘She Went in Haste’ from ‘A Noble Work’. The song introduces the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.
Mary’s child came among us to share the gift of Divine Love. Jesus is the Divine Lover and we are the object of His love. Only God would love so much that He would become one of us to win our love. St. Irenaeus, an early doctor of the Church, wrote, "Because of his great love for us, Jesus, the Word of God, became what we are in order to make us what he is himself."
This is the mystery that excites us. It is the same mystery that excited Mary and Elizabeth. They realised that they had each in their own way been chosen to be vehicles of God's plan of love. Elizabeth's son, John the Baptist, would point to this Love become flesh. Jesus, Mary's son, would be this love. We also have been chosen to be part of this plan by the One who loves us and who calls us to make His Love a reality for others.
With deep gratitude we pray: Lord of all love, you have come to us, so we can come to you. You have become physical, so we can become spiritual. You have embraced us with your Love, so we can embrace others with your love. We thank you for choosing us to be part of your plan. We thank you for allowing us to join Mary and Elizabeth in the excitement of your Coming Presence. We ask you now to give us the strength and the courage to proclaim your Presence with our Lives.
May I also share with you a bonus track with Christmas Day just around the corner. It is my gift to you as you prepare to give and receive gifts to and from your loved ones. It is from my Christmas Album, the title track, ‘You are the Gift’.
May we realise more and more the gift that Christ is to each one of us.