Meditation for the Day

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, December 21

Christmas Is Truly That Singular Time of the Year When the Holy Birth of the Christ Child Should Fill Each of Us with Hope and Joy, for It Is Truly God’s Deepest Desire That Each of Us Be Renewed in His Love.

“The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love…”

This verse, taken today from God words written in the Book of the Prophet Zephaniah, speaks to His children of hope. Zephaniah, a minor prophet of the Old Covenant some 625 years before the Birth of the Christ Child, is writing about a Messianic hope, a time of future blessings which are in store for God’s children, a “mighty savior” who will open their hearts and renew His children in His Love.

And this prophecy was still important to the Jewish people in Jesus’ day, because they were still under the dominion of pagan power from the Romans as they awaited the coming of their Savior. Even though their idea was a Messiah who would be an earthly king, such prophecies still filled them with hope.

Even today, we take comfort in our knowledge that God, in the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, took upon Himself our flesh, so that we may come to know that our God is a God who truly understands our human condition, who understands the many trials and hardships which we face in this life, for He Himself endured hunger and thirst, poverty and homelessness. He Himself endured the anguish of rejection, betrayal and suffering, culminating with His own death by being nailed to a Cross.

All this – experiencing birth in a cold stable, laying on a manger of straw, ending with the sufferings of torture and hanging naked on a tree being humiliated by many – all so that He may teach us of the Infinite Greatness of God’s Love which He holds for each and every one of us, His children!

And even in Elizabeth’s limited understanding of what the future held for her own son and the Holy Child who Mary was carrying within herself, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, she exclaims with joy, which becomes our own expression of faith repeated each and every time we pray the Ave Maria, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

Jesus, in His life of ministry, teaching us about the very Nature and the mind of God and what He expects from each of us, tells us, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

And He made our intimate relationship with His Father possible by coming to us on that cold, winter night more than two thousand years ago. And, in His Birth, He taught us what it means to love selflessly. In His Birth, He taught us the true value of humility.

Even before that awesome event took place, Mary, herself, was living the virtues of selfless love and humility by the example she set in reaching out to her cousin with true charity during Elizabeth’s time of need, placing her own personal needs after those of her cousin!

One wonders what it was that Mary and Elizabeth felt so many centuries ago – anticipating, wondering, anxious – fully open to embracing God’s will! And waiting to rejoice, as we do; waiting to rejoice and celebrate the most important and wondrous event in human history – God coming into the world as a Child!

What an incredible miracle! What a most wondrous gift!  Truly something worthy about which to rejoice!

But we also know that, for some, Christmas is anything but a time of joy. The secularization and commercialization of Christmas can breed cynicism, for materialism can replace the zeal of the true Christmas spirit. And the holiday preparations can become sometimes overwhelming.

In fact, for some, Christmas can become a very sad and lonely time of the year, especially when the memory of a loved one who has gone before us comes to mind. Or when the poorest of the poor endure the loneliness of the Holy Days on the streets.

Then, it truly becomes important, for those who are able, to reach out to the lonely and the less fortunate with the spirit of the Christ Child – a spirit of humility, a spirit of love, a spirit of charity for all those who are in our midst and who are in most need, for we are all God’s children.

Christmas is truly that singular time of the year when the Holy Birth of the Christ Child should fill each of us, His children, with hope and joy. It is during this time of the year that God’s deepest desire for each and every one of us is that we be renewed in His Love.

May our own prayers truly echo that of our psalmist today, “Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield, for in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust.”

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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.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love…” (Zephaniah 3:17abc)
  • “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?” (Luke 1:42b-43)
  • “I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal…shepherding them rightly.” (Ezekiel 34:15-16)
  • “Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy. Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves.” (Psalm 126:5-6)
  • “For you shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
  • “Our soul waits for the LORD, he is our help and our shield. For in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust.” (Psalm 33:20-21)

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Prayer for the Day

“Hear in kindness, O Lord,
the prayers of Your people,
that those who rejoice at the coming
of Your Only-Begotten Son in our flesh
may, when at last He comes in Glory,
gain the reward of eternal life.

“Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Advent Prayer for Dec. 21 (Roman Missal)

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