Fri, 20 December 2019
O great defender of the faith,
of the clear waters,
the wellspring of salvation
that flows from the Sacred Heart
of our Savior
into His holy Church,
thus to nourish the world
and fill it with truth
you whom the Lord inspired
with apostolic zeal
to teach and lead souls
along His holy way –
teach us today
by your gracious intercession
to be faithful,
to be obedient to the voice of Jesus
and the Spirit speaking in the Mother
the Lord God provides His pilgrim people.
Let us not be separated from His Word
and His precious Body and Blood,
but come together as one in His presence.
Fri, 20 December 2019
(Sgs.2:8-14 or Zep.3:14-18; Ps.33:1-3,11-12,20-21; Lk.1:39-45)
“Let me see you, let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.”
“Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” – she who comes bearing the Christ child, she whose very voice magnifies the presence of the Lord. Listen to the witness of Elizabeth: “The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby stirred in my womb for joy.” Mary carries the Son of God not only in her womb, but in her soul; the Spirit working within her serves to inspire him who shall go before the Lord, and so she paves the road the forerunner of Jesus shall tread.
How one are mother and child! Never so evident has it been than in this passage from Holy Scripture. For Mary’s voice carries the very presence of Jesus, and Elizabeth’s ears convey that presence to her child. Here is that relationship of love depicted in our reading from the Song of Songs exemplified most clearly; here is the oneness of lover and beloved. And the loveliness of the lover becomes the loveliness of the beloved; the blessing of the Child becomes the blessing of the Mother – and in this love the earth brings forth its fruit.
“The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.” “The Lord, your God, is in your midst,” and He blesses all with His presence. He calls to your soul to come forth and know His love. “Springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills,” He hastens to your side. He visits you. He visits you, speaking to your heart, calling you to arise and join Him. As Mary visits Elizabeth, “proceeding in haste into the hill country,” to bring her Son to the son of Elizabeth and so producing joy in this unborn child’s heart – so she brings her sweet Jesus to us this day, her voice speaking of His glory to the ears of Mother Church.
And so she becomes our Mother; and so she becomes our lover, for she bears the great lover of all souls to wed Himself to us as He is so perfectly wed to her. His sweetness comes to us through His “beautiful one,” causing our hearts to rejoice at the sound of her voice and leading us to sing songs of praise to His holy name. Let us raise the joyful shout to our God!
O LORD, in joy with Mary,
help us to bring Jesus to every waiting soul.
YHWH, should we not rejoice at the coming of your Son? He comes to us across the hills in the womb of His Mother: should His approach not fill us with expectation and wonder, with joy in the Holy Spirit? And should we not cry out that joy with the Baptist and his mother?
She who secluded herself for five months is now in her sixth, and now your Son comes to her. And what has lain dormant within her womb springs to life at the sound of the voice of His Mother. O LORD, are we not just so in need of your Spirit to awaken in us the love that has been dormant these many days? Do we not begin to doubt your gifts to us as we long to see them fulfilled, as we sit this day in darkness? And will you not come to us in your Son, in His Mother who carries Him to our side – she who is your perfect Bride?
You desire to rejoice over us, O dearest LORD and God, and so our misfortunes you take away, and so the darkness of winter you dispel. Even we who are aged in sin you find beautiful. May our loveliness match your own. May our voice be pleasing to you.