salutations and visitations
"Hark! my lover — here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills." —Song of Songs 2:8
At the very beginning of her pregnancy, Mary visited Elizabeth. "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in a loud voice: 'Blest are you among women and blest is the Fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?' " (Lk 1:41-43) Both Elizabeth and John responded to Jesus' presence and Mary's visitation with praise in the Holy Spirit.
At the very end of Mary's pregnancy, she and Joseph visited an inn to find a place to have their Baby. The innkeeper responded to Jesus' presence and the holy family's plight with rejection (Lk 2:7). His inn and his heart had no room for the God-made-man.
The Lord continues to visit His people. He continues to be accepted by some and rejected by others. "He was in the world, and through Him the world was made, yet the world did not know Who He was. To His own He came, yet His own did not accept Him. Any who did accept Him He empowered to become children of God" (Jn 1:10-12). If we can be like Elizabeth and John in accepting Jesus, we can be like Mary in carrying and giving Him to the world.
Prayer: Jesus, may I become so sensitive to Your presence that even a greeting or a word would stir up the Holy Spirit in me. Give me the Holy Spirit of Christmas.
Promise: "Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty Savior." —Zep 3:16-17
Praise: "O Radiant Dawn, Splendor of eternal light, Sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007
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