Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Readings for Today
“Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Luke 1:42b–45
There is a lot to take in from this beautiful passage spoken by Elizabeth to our Blessed Mother. First of all, we see the general tone of her greeting. It’s one of great affection. It’s easy to perceive the authentic joy in Elizabeth’s heart as she encounters the Mother of God and her Lord dwelling within Mother Mary’s womb.
“And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” This line reveals that Elizabeth took true joy in her encounter with Mary and saw this encounter as an abundant blessing. This is interesting since Elizabeth was so much older than Mary. She could have “expected” Mary to be there and taken her visit for granted. But she didn’t, she saw it with much gratitude.
It’s also clear that Elizabeth is not the only one who is blessed to encounter the Mother of God and her Child. Elizabeth’s baby, John the Baptist, who is living within her womb, is also filled with joy and leaps as an expression of that joy. What an amazing effect this visit has upon both Elizabeth and her unborn child.
This should raise a question in your own heart. Do you perceive the presence of Christ when He comes to you? If Elizabeth and her unborn child could perceive Him, shouldn’t we also be able to perceive Him? When you enter a church, for example, are you immediately aware of the divine presence of our Lord? Do you sense His closeness? And when you receive Him in Holy Communion, is your heart intently fixed upon the Savior coming to you and residing within you? This takes faith and it takes eyes that are fixed on the coming and presence of the Lord.
Pray, today, for the gift to see. Pray that our Lord will give you the eyes you need to perceive His divine presence all around you. And pray, especially, that your mind and heart will be open to His divine presence as you encounter and receive Him in Holy Communion.
Lord, I do desire to see You and to know You. I desire to discern Your presence all around me and in every way that You come to me. Help me, especially, to be attentive to Your presence in Holy Communion. May my heart always leap for joy at Your coming to me in this most perfect way. Jesus, I trust in You.
O Antiphons of Advent
Saint of the Day – Saint Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor