Gospel Reading and Thoughts for December 20, 2015

Gospel – Luke 1:39-45

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,
“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.”

This week, as I was doing some Christmas baking, fulfilling a holiday tradition, I thought about Mary.  I thought about how she probably had many of her own religious traditions and rules to fulfill.  Whether in the kitchen or in prayer, she, too, lived out her faith and served others around her.  And if she did any of it in preparation for one of the holy Jewish holidays, she probably had in mind the fulfillment of God’s promises to the Hebrew people.  But these holidays were even more meaningful to her because she carried the fulfillment of those promises in her own womb.  God’s love was growing inside her, making those holidays even more special.

As we draw closer to Christmas this week, may we, like Mary secretly treasure the Christ child growing within our hearts, making our traditions and practices truly meaningful.  And may our joy be full as we celebrate Christmas this week!