Thursday, December 8, 2016

O Jesus, Living in Mary, Come and Live in Our Hearts!

Advent has always been a special time in life for all of us, especially from our earliest memories. The expectation shines bright in our eyes, like the lights glowing in the stores or on the lit Christmas trees on the streets of our cities. As a child, we never knew what presents would greet us on Christmas morn, but we knew that it was a time of wonderment as we prepared all Advent long for the Birth of Christ.

As we explore the readings of the second week of Advent, we can see the coming together of the Advent message. The first reading speaks of the opposites sitting together, as in the Lion and the Lamb, in a peaceful way along with other types of animals. Such peace is observed and we wonder how that can be but they do. That same peace can fill the world and particularly our own country if we allow it to be.

The Gospel speaks of St. John the Baptist and his strong position as a disciple of Christ. He was more than a prophet bringing us closer to knowing Jesus and wanting to know more about Him. John calls us to repentance and to respond to the gift of mercy. We need to reflect on this year of Mercy just ending and how it will move us in the years to come.

When I was new in Community life, we had a practice of the Presence of God. The practice would have different prayers for the season of the Church year. The prayer for Advent is "O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in our hearts." It is very simple, but calls me to be mindful of Jesus' reason for coming to earth to live among us. It calls me to reflect on His gospel messages, to go out and do what I can for others. It makes me aware of the many calls to serve those in need. It calls me to think of Mary and her "Yes" to be the Mother of God. She knew her mission. She went about being a Mother who loved her Son as only a Mother can. Her sacrifices were many, she is a good teacher of life for me.

Ann Weems writes a verse that motivates me in her bool Kneeling in Bethlehem.

The Christmas spirit
      Is that hope
            Which tenaciously clings
                  To the hearts of the faithful

And announces
      In the face
            Of any Herod the world can produce
            And all the inn doors slammed in our faces
            And all the dark nights of our souls

That with God
      All things still are possible,
That even now
      Unto us
            A Child is born!

As we enter the second week of Advent, let us pray that peace will come to our land and that we can and will welcome Christ into our hearts again.

Let us pray: O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in our hearts.

Written by Sister Theresa Peck, D.C., for The Message.

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