“Mary went without delay to communicate her joy to her cousin Elizabeth. This is the real commitment of Advent; to bring joy to others. Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not expensive presents that require time and money.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI
As I scroll through my Facebook Feed, I can’t help but notice how many people are going on vacations for Christmas. Hawaii, Rome (Italy, not Georgia), even Queenstown, New Zealand are but a few of the beautiful and fascinating destinations my friends have chosen. One young lady even chose Las Vegas for her Christmas destination. May she find loose slots and hot dice under the Tree.
Our Blessed Mother’s journey on the other hand was no vacation.
Mary was on a journey to fulfill her divine destiny, to in essence become the blessed and long awaited Ark of the Covenant personified, not to mention the Queen Mother of Israel and ultimately the Queen of Heaven. And in this day and age of cleric abuse and other unspeakable atrocities going on within our beautiful church, may I also add the title of Warrior Queen to her Resume, for you can rest assured that she has assumed her role in this penultimate battle, doing her part to insure that “the gates of hell will not prevail” (Matthew 16:18).
In the lead-up to Christmas, we’ve read from and discussed Scriptural Passages from the likes of the Advent Prophet himself Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Tremendous warm-up acts to be certain. But now: Enter the Queen.
Our Gospel Passage today (Luke 1:39-45) chronicles Mary’s journey to Judah, a journey we’re told that was made swiftly. After Elizabeth speaks of John the Baptist leaping for joy in her womb, she leaves Mary, and us, with these words: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:46). We have the opportunity to show the world that we too believe what has been spoken to us by the Lord, with the wholehearted understanding that these words have been, are currently, and will continue to be fulfilled. We do this by our actions and choices, through charity and mercy, through the steady accumulation of wisdom, patience, humility, fortitude and of course submission, all free gifts of the Holy Spirit from a God who relentlessly yearns to enter into a deeper and more initiate Union with us, to love us immeasurably and without condition. A God who sent his Son so that we could be saved from sin, saved from ourselves.
O come, O come Emmanuel
“Pour forth, we beseech thee O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of the Resurrection.” ~ Amen