Our first reading comes from the Song of Songs which has often been seen as an allegory of God’s love for his people. In this passage the groom represents God and we see God inviting the beloved to come and live with God in happiness. In the alternate reading from the Prophet Zephaniah, the people are told to rejoice for the Lord is in their midst. God has protected them from their enemies. In the gospel text, we see Mary traveling to visit Elizabeth and her unborn son rejoicing for Mary is carrying the Lord and therefore is blessed. (Adapted from Reflections on the Daily Readings; The Irish Province of the Order of Carmelites (O.Carm.) http://www.carmelites.ie/prayer.html)
There are just a few more days till Christmas. These texts remind us that God is renewing us with affirming love. Have you ever thought that God is glad because of you and me? This fills me with Advent hope. The first two texts are about living our life in union with God and about our being restored in God’s life and love. “God sings joyfully because of you” (Zephaniah 3: 18). Can we imagine that God is singing joyfully because of us? Like Jerusalem, we too have fallen short of our best self at times. Our God yearns to be one with us. God is the Great Restorer. In these final days of Advent let us take some time to be mindful and joyful as we prepare for Christmas. (Adapted from Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B., Living Faith, October, November, December 2019, Saturday, December 21, 2019)
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.