Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, December 23

As We Prepare Ourselves for That Most Awesome Event Commemorating the Holy Birth of the Son of Man, May We Open Our Hearts, Inviting the Holy Spirit to Fill Us with a Faith That is Alive to God’s Presence Within Us.

Our Readings today all speak of preparation – fitting themes for December 23rd, the day before Christmas Eve – “Thus says the Lord GOD: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me.”

Throughout today’s Scriptures, we see God’s graciousness in providing opportunities and grace for preparation.  Even our First Reading, taken from the Book of the Prophet Malachi, which speaks of the ominous consequences of not being prepared, tells us of God’s desire to prepare people and change hearts, so that His children may be receptive to God’s Presence in their midst, “Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet…To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”

Finally, the Gospel Reading shows us the consequences of Elizabeth’s and Zechariah’s preparation for the birth of their son. All that they experienced since the wonder of the Archangel’s message to Zechariah, and strengthened by God’s grace, enabled them to not only stand up against peer pressure from relatives and friends, but also enabled them to speak and act in a way which brought others to recognize the Presence of God in their lives.

On this day before Christmas Eve, the time for preparation for Christmas is drawing to a close. It is now time to set priorities and decide how to spend these last hours before they are gone.

What is it that matters most to you and me? Do we ask for guidance and grace to spend our day in a way which recognizes the true meaning of Christmas – the spirit of selfless love in the gift of self for others, as Christ did for us, or do we find ourselves caught up in the materialism of the season?

The Gospel story today tells us of the birth of John, whose name means “God is gracious”. In both the birth of John and in the coming Holy Birth of Jesus, we see the grace of God breaking forth into a world more than two thousand years ago – a world broken by sin and death and with little hope.

There are many who believe that our world today is no different, for it is a world swallowed-up by indifference to sin, and a world-wide culture which embraces the shadowy darkness of death – particularly since, for many people, life in all its wonder is seen without value, especially for those among us who are the most vulnerable and innocent.

And yet, it is the births of our Lord and His herald, John, which remind us that every life has value. Every life has meaning. Each one of us can say of each child in the womb, and each child that is born into this world, as the relatives of Zechariah and Elizabeth once said long ago, “What, then, will this child be?”

John’s miraculous conception in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth (“…because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years”), along with his birth, from all eternity chosen by the Eternal Father to be the herald of His Divine Son, are signs of God’s unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy.

Every child conceived, even today, is a sign of God’s Love! And the Christ Child Himself is the fullness of that manifestation of Divine Love in our midst who comes to bring us hope – not only two thousand years ago, but each and every day of our lives in the here and now.

As we prepare ourselves for that most awesome event commemorating the Holy Birth of the Son of Man, the Eternal Word made flesh, may we open our hearts, inviting the Holy Spirit to fill us with a faith that is alive to God’s Presence within us – filling us with a joy and a peace which the Christ Child continuously offers to each and every one of us in every circumstance of life of every generation!

God Himself asks each one of us today through His prophet Malachi, “But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears?”

With the help of God’s grace, with a truly humbled and contrite heart, with a heart filled with faith and love, may you and I bow our heads and bend our knees as we joyfully receive His coming into our midst.

For, this Infant Babe, born in the poorest and humblest of conditions, is truly our “Lord of lords and King of kings!”

******************************************************************

Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

******************************************************************

Scripture for the Day

  • “Now I am sending my messenger – he will prepare the way before me…But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand firm when he appears?” (Malachi 3:1a, 2ab)
  • “Now I am sending to you Elijah the prophet…To turn the hearts of fathers to their sons, and the hearts of sons to their fathers.” (Malachi 3:23a, 24a)
  • “What, then, will this child be?” (Luke 1:66b)
  • “Now faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
  • “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  • “And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
  • “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
  • “…for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14cd)

******************************************************************

Prayer for the Day

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

“Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

“This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

“You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

“In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Canticle of Zechariah ~ the “Benedictus” (Luke 1:68-79)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s