Excitement is gathering as we approach the great mystery of the Birth of Christ.  Both Samuel 2 and the gospel are beautifully linked telling us that God cannot be confined to a house or a temple, a  Church  or a building because our God is an everyday God who wishes to be present in our everyday lives. God wants to live in you and me because everything that has form has the presence of God whether it be stone, plant, flower, animal or human, Christian or non- Christian as we were  all  created  in  love  and  are called to encapsulate and share that love with others in our daily lives.  Take time to allow this thought to resonate deep within your heart because God  loves  us  and  everything God has created.

The second reading from Romans is a personal greeting to 25 individuals, all named, ending with today’s reading:  the “mystery now disclosed which was kept secret for ages” and that is the mystery we are about to celebrate next week on Monday 25 Dec. Let our Response be a resounding “I will sing forever of your love,  O  God”.

Because Mark has no account of the Birth of  Christ we have Luke’s Gospel telling us how this Birth happened. Mary travelled 113km across the hills of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with child in her old age. Having heard the news from the Angel Gabriel, Mary went with haste aware of the needs of her cousin at this time, even though she was pregnant herself and transparent with loving compassion for her friend. What joy and delight she  brought, what a meeting of happiness, peace and exultation occurred in the small house of Zachary with this reunion.

The gift of God  which is received interiorly welled up into blessing and praising, glorifying and magnifying, rejoicing and leaping in a celebratory dance.  Those who share out of their joy know that it is in giving that we receive.  We see in a new way  as our eyes are open to the thrilling beauty of God reflected in the movement of the unborn child in Mary’s womb. What joy this gave to both pregnant women.

See Incarnation as a call to incarnate and enflesh  love in my own life and to make it visible as Mary did at the Visitation.  Everything that has form is Word Incarnate or real Presence.

A cherished memory I recall here is as siblings during the end of the last war we  were  allowed inside the altar rails in our Church on Christmas night to pray around the crib.  I wondered how a tiny baby could  be  called KING so I wondered for a good thirty years.  When I went on Sabbatical to Australia I was reading an article in bed at 3am when three words hopped from the page to change my life.  “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16).  I had a lot of unlearning to do then. Those words moved to my heart from my head and I celebrated the astonishing story of the small crib and the tiny host telling the wonder of Christmas and Eucharist. What joy that brought me.

May our God of love enfold you and may our hearts send forth green shoots at this time of Incarnation, the  birthing  which  continually goes on in us.  We are  called  to be candles of Light and Hope shining Incarnate Light to all we meet and live with especially the poor, needy and homeless at this time.

Have a Happy Christmas and share the love we receive with all .

Dympna Travers, OP