Seminarian Veronica: Mary’s Joy

Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 35:1-10

Luke 1:46b-55

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11


Let us pray.

God of all hope, peace, joy, and love, let us receive you this day as the world first received you– with great anticipation and excitement.  May the light of your Christ make our darkness bright.  Amen.

Let me paint you a scene from my childhood home.  It is just before the holidays, and my family is waiting on guests who will be arriving soon.  Extended family and friends will be joining us.  We are filled with excitement.  And so the “tidying up” begins.  My mother hangs Christmas lights over the mantel.  My brother vacuums the living room.  I cover the couches with soft blankets and pillows to provide a comfortable place to sit.  My sisters bake cookies.  We set candles on the table, smiling as the aroma and light fill the room.  Soft music is playing– maybe Celtic Christmas music or Peter, Paul, and Mary, my mother’s favorite.  It was one of my favorite times of year.

Yet, there’s something a bit odd about waiting for a guest to arrive.  When we prepare our homes or ready ourselves to host a meal, we prepare twice:  Once for the guest who is coming and has not yet arrived, and once for ourselves, as we get ready for company.  As we prepare, we are prepared.

The same thing happens when we prepare to receive the presence of the Lord.  Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of our Lord, Jesus.  It is the time when we wait for something amazing to happen, for God to come into the world.  It is the time when we experience moments of quiet expectation, and it is a time that we consider the tremendous gift of Emmanuel– God who is with us.  “Advent is the spiritual preparation for Christmas as Lent is for Easter”.  In Advent, we prepare more than our homes.  We prepare our hearts. Continue reading