Father Matthew Kaderabek, LC
those days Mary set out and traveled to the
hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where
she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary´s greeting, the infant leaped in
her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried
out in a loud voice and said, "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? For at the moment the sound of your greeting
reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped
for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what
was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, help me to settle my mind and
my heart. I know that you are present in
this prayer. I want to turn aside all distractions.
Increase my faith in your action in my life. You
are leading me to yourself. Help me to place
myself more fully in your hands. Increase my faith so
that I will do anything and suffer anything for
you. Use me as an instrument of your grace
in the lives of those I meet today.
Lord, help me to follow Mary’s example of faith and
love and bring you to others this Christmas.
Our Advent Model: Mary is truly the model of
how we should be living Advent in preparing for Christ’s
arrival. God the Father prepared her from the first
moment of her conception to be the worthy mother
of his Son. Like a faithful daughter of Israel, she
had prayed throughout her youth for the coming of
the Messiah. When she was a young lady, she
discovered that she was part of God’s answer to that
prayer, but in a way that would have far
exceeded any Hebrew maiden’s prayers: not only would the
Messiah be her son, but her son would also be
God. Her “fiat”, her wholehearted “yes!” to the Archangel
Gabriel, launched the proximate preparation for the birth of
Jesus the Messiah. Let us enter into Mary’s response of
faith, which is a guide for us along our
own pilgrimage of faith. Let us listen to the beat
of Mary’s contemplative heart, so that our Christmas may
be as fruitful as that first Christmas.
2. Someone Who
Loves Takes Notice of the Details: No sooner had the
Archangel left Mary in Nazareth after announcing her important
role in God’s incredible plan of salvation than Mary
herself made plans to depart. She went with haste
to help her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth who was pregnant for
the first time. Gabriel had not instructed Mary to
go to Elizabeth’s aid, nor did he suggest it.
Mary’s great love was sufficient to cause her to spring
into action and embark upon the long sixty-mile journey
to Elizabeth’s hometown outside Jerusalem. In undertaking this challenging
and potentially dangerous journey, Mary showed — as she
did at the wedding feast in Cana — that
someone who loves takes notice of the details. She showed
that someone who loves does whatever possible to lend
a helping hand, even at the cost of considerable
sacrifice. We can imagine that this was Mary’s attitude from
her earliest childhood.
3. Be A Missionary — Bring Christ!
By going to Elizabeth’s aid, Mary — carrying the
tiny Jesus in her womb — became the first
missionary, the first bearer of the Good News that would
change all of human history. Mary was able to
bring incredible joy to both Elizabeth and John the
Baptist in her womb precisely because she was bringing Christ.
And Mary was able to burst out with her
beautiful Magnificat for the very same reason. To bring
joy to others this Christmas, we really have to bring
them Christ. He is the greatest gift we could
ever bring to someone we love — all the material
goods in the world fall flat in comparison. Without
sharing Jesus, we are not giving our loved ones
anything that is truly lasting. Bring Christ and you
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, it
is clear that your mother wants me to learn
from her example. She inspires me to bring you to
others this Christmas season. I know plenty of people
who desperately need you in their lives, who need
your forgiveness, who hunger for your love and presence,
perhaps without even knowing it. I know that my loving
relationship with you is never meant to be kept
to myself; it is a gift meant to be shared.
Your mother’s example shows me the way to live
Advent well and explicitly challenges me to be a
missionary by bringing you to the world.
I will share my faith this Christmas season
with a friend or relative in need.