23 December 2012

Advent hospitality

As the last violet candle is lit around our wreaths on this Fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear Saint Luke's account of the Blessed Virgin Mary's visit to Elizabeth who is now sixth months pregnant.

Today, after the public recitation of the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the mystery of the Visitation and what it means for us, saying:
The scene of the Visitation also expresses the beauty of hospitality: where there is mutual welcome, listening, making room for the other, God is present with the joy that comes from him. Let us imitate Mary in the Christmas season, visiting those who are in difficulty, especially the sick, prisoners, the elderly and children. And let us also imitate Elizabeth who welcomes the guest as God himself: unless we desire him we will never know the Lord, unless we expect him, we will never meet him, unless we seek him, we will never find him. With the same joy as Mary, who hastens to Elizabeth (cf. Luke 1:39), we too go out to meet the Lord who comes.
In these last two days before the celebration of the Birth of the only Savior of all mankind we will have many opportunities to visit those who are in one difficulty or another.  As we go about our final preparations, let us do so with joy as we anticipate the coming Feast.

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