The Eve of the Birth of our Lord
This Week’s Intention: For a joyous and redeeming Christmastime for our world, one filled with peace on earth and good will toward all.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 1:67-79
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel for 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 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 hand 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.
A Reflection for Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
In the days before our Lord’s birth, the people of Israel were anxious. They were living difficult lives, contending daily with hardship and despair, struggling to overcome the crippling inequities of a harsh and divided society. Longing for relief, they looked to God for deliverance. Today, when we survey the landscape of our times, we can see that, while much has changed since then, much has not. Many still try to survive under the weight of injustice and want, and all must face the ever-present dangers of violence, disease, and war. Again, we cry for help. And again, there appears an answer: the simple yet wondrous star of Christmas. Now, as when it first did, it appears to us as a sign that we have been heard. The fears of our world’s strangeness and darkness are somehow bathed in the light of a compassionate and reassuring love, one that then takes its place alongside us and walks with us wherever we go. It tells us that, while the hard realities of brokenness and pain might seem endless, they will not be the final word. Humanity will never be forgotten, never be overcome. The star reminds us that, as stated in the writings of Desiderius Erasmus, “Bidden or unbidden, God is here.” The time of Advent is a time to take heart.
Prayer for the Day
Eternal Father, your love is everlasting. You are our God and we are your people for all eternity. As we ready ourselves to welcome your Perfect Presence in the coming of your Son, may we prepare a place for him in our hearts. Take away our smallness and our fears, and rekindle in us the fire of our faith. Make us ready to receive the gift of our salvation as he seeks to dwell with us and fill us with the light of newborn peace, hope, and love. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.