Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:39-45
Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Today’s Gospel lets us glimpse an intimate encounter of sisterly love. Elizabeth hears Mary’s voice, and instantly her unborn baby leaps inside her and the Holy Spirit fills her. Elizabeth doesn’t even see Mary; just hearing her voice brings explosive joy.
Don’t we all long for friendship like this? It is a great gift to love someone whose voice, or perfume, or smile instantly lights up our day. Babies love their mothers like this. When my husband and I were trying to help our baby sleep through the night, my doctor suggested I sleep with a baby blanket for a few nights to saturate it with my Mommy Scent. I took her up on that advice and tucked the little blanket in my arms as I slept. As I passed the blanket onto my daughter the next night, I felt amazed and humbled that this little relic of me could bring joy and help my baby to calm herself at night.
Our faith celebrates relics like this. Catholicism is bursting with things to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Jesus, God Incarnate, invites us to plunge into creation. We immerse ourselves in this world to find the things that resemble its creator. Although our world can grow dark, God’s light is everywhere. Tomorrow marks the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. From now on, our days only get longer and brighter. Let us “announce the praises of him who called [us]out of darkness into his wonderful light”!
Who or what brings light to my darkness? How do I show my gratitude for this light? How can I bring light to someone living in shadow right now?
December 21st traditionally marks the fifth day of the seven “O Antiphons” for the days leading to Christmas. Today is O Oriens (O Dayspring). Probably the most famous hymn to include the “O Antiphons” is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Here is today’s verse to pray in song:
O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Grace Mazza Urbanski