Gospel Meditation

December 23, 2018 ~ 4th Sunday of Advent
Here we are, mere days from Christmas, and we hear a Gospel anticipating the birth of another child. Mary has received word that her cousin Elizabeth is with child. Pregnant as she is, Mary “set out and traveled to the hill country in haste.” She has recently received the greatest news of her life – that she is to be mother to the Messiah by the power of the Holy Spirit – but her concern is for her cousin in need. Through God’s grace, Elizabeth turns it into an opportunity to honor the coming Christ. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Yet Mary’s example of selflessness should inspire us.
As Christmas draws near, there is plenty of goodness to anticipate for many of us. We’ll reunite with family and friends, uphold time-honored traditions, swap stories old and new, exchange gifts, and welcome Jesus at the Christmas liturgy. These are wonderful things! Of course, they probably all come with their own to-do list. Shop for last-minute gifts, pick up recipe ingredients, ready the guest room, or pack your own bags. Mary probably had things to do as well. She had a lot to consider, for one thing. How do you plan to tell your parents you’re pregnant, but no man was involved? When Joseph finds out, who will care for the practical needs of you and your child? Into what may have been a chaos of questions, Mary receives news that someone is in need. She goes immediately.
In these final days before Christmas, stay watchful and awake! You never know when God might invite you to welcome, hospitality, and compassion. It might be tempting to reject the opportunity for your own needs. Follow the example of Mary! If God is providing you an opportunity to love, He will provide the means to accomplish all your other tasks. This Christmas season, may you too hear, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”


MEDITACIÓN EVANGÉLICO

23 de diciembre de 2018 ~ 4o Domingo de Adviento
“Cuando María tiene noticia de la maternidad de su prima Isabel, ya anciana y estéril, se pone en camino. No por falta de fe en la profecía ni por dudar del anuncio, ni por dudar de los signos que le fueron dados, sino llena de alegría para cumplir un servicio entrañable. En la prontitud de la alegría, María se dirige hacia las montañas. Llena de Dios ¿podía no ir de prisa hacia las alturas? Los cálculos lentos no corresponden a la gracia del Espíritu Santo” (San Ambrosio). Este breve resumen que San Ambrosio nos da en su reflexión sobre la Visitación nos prepara para saber acoger las sorpresas de Dios, referente al servicio generoso que se debe tener hacia el que lo necesita.

Salga al encuentro del otro, como nos lo dice el Papa Francisco, “Salida de la Iglesia-que habla de los pobres hacia una Iglesia-que va a los pobres, conversa con ellos, los abraza y los defiende”. Dios sale hacia las montañas de Judá y con alegría las dos mujeres se abrazan. El saludo de Isabel lleno del Espíritu Santo resuena en sus entrañas y al momento el niño saltó de alegría. “¡Dichosa tú por haber creído que se cumplirían las promesas del Señor!” (Lucas 1:45). María e Isabel son testigos del amor de Dios en el mundo. “Bendito el fruto de tu vientre” (Lucas 1:42). El Himno Litúrgico del Tiempo de Adviento es una oración hermosa que nos ayuda durante la semana a esperar al Mesías. “Ya la tierra reclama su fruto y de bodas se anuncia alegría, el Señor que en los cielos moraba se hizo carne en la Virgen Maria.” ¿Está tu corazón listo para recibir al Señor?

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