Wednesday, December 21, 2016

O ORIENS (O Dayspring)

Brightness of Eternal Light, 
and Sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those
who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

 Listen HERE

Song of Songs 2:8-14, Luke 1:39-45

Most of us have realized at one time or another, however fleetingly, that the solution to many of our personal problems can be found in just forgetting ourselves, more positively, in concentrating our attention and energy on someone else or on some good cause.

Today we think of Mary - after her words of acceptance to the Angel - "making haste", climbing up into the hill country to share with her cousin Elizabeth (and John the Baptist discerning the sacredness of this Visitation from the vantage point of his mother's womb!). Possibly Mary went in order to share with Elizabeth what had happened to her; but undoubtedly she made that arduous journey so as to assist Elizabeth - a much older woman - in her pregnancy. We read that Mary stayed there for three months.

But what a visit! No wonder it has a feast day of its own in the middle of the year. Notice that the older woman says she is "honoured" with a visit from "the mother of my Lord."

It is also significant that Elizabeth says to Mary, "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (v.45). May we be known as children of Mary who always believe that the Lord will fulfil his word!

There is, of course, a sense in which the Church is foreshadowed in Mary's visit to Elizabeth. As Mary carried Jesus within her and brought great joy to her cousin, so our vocation is to bless others by bringing Jesus to them.

This contemporary  prayer is very appropriate for today:

Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
you have revealed the beauty of your power
by exalting the lowly virgin of Nazareth
and making her the mother of our Saviour.
May the prayers of this woman
bring Jesus to a waiting world
and fill the void of incompletion
with the presence of her child,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
on God, for ever and ever. Amen.

We beseech thee, O Lord,
that of thy loving kindness
thou wouldest hearken unto to the prayers of thy people,
that those who rejoice at the coming
of thy Only-begotten Son in our flesh
may, when he cometh in his glory,
receive the reward of eternal life.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
one God, world without end. Amen.


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