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Come, O Lord, Be With Us
Friday of the Third Week of Advent (O Adonai)
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
Opening Prayer: Come, O Lord of Might! Lead me and teach me your law. Come to rescue me with your holy power (based on today’s O Antiphon: O Adonai).
- God with Us Foretold: Isaiah foresaw the coming of Christ. He told King Ahaz this prophecy: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Notice that the Blessed Virgin Mary was foretold along with Jesus. Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit: “For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her” (Matthew 1:20). She was the first person to experience Emmanuel–God with us–during her holy pregnancy. Jesus took his precious Body from her immaculate body. She bore him into the world; she is the God-bearer, the Theotokos. We can call on our Blessed Mother to help us draw near to Jesus because she is so near to him.
- God with Us Now: Our God, who is Lord of heaven and earth–Adonai–is with us today, just as he was with Mary and his disciples. God is with us in our spirits when we allow Him to reign as Lord of our hearts (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). God is with us when we gather to worship and pray: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). We do not need to fear anything, because God is with us, even though his presence is veiled in mystery. Isaiah summed it up well: “Fear not: I am with you; be not dismayed: I am your God” (Isaiah 41:10).
- God with Us Forever: At the Last Supper, Jesus gave us a beautiful gift: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27). Jesus’s holy presence is peace itself: “He shall be peace” (Micah 5:4). God is with us forever, because he promised to be with us “always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). God is with us in our bodies when he feeds us his own precious Body and Blood in the Eucharist. The peace that came from Christ’s presence came in history that first Christmas night, but his peace didn’t stop being with us at the manger or even at the cross. His peace continues to come each and every day. He is Emmanuel–God with us–forever.
Conversing with Christ: Come Lord Jesus, please be with me now and forever. Be my Lord, and reign in my heart. When you come, please bring me the gift of your peace. With you near me, I know I never have to be afraid.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will offer a corporal work of mercy in thanksgiving for your Lordship and your abundant providence. I will specifically look for an opportunity to feed the hungry, perhaps by donating to a food bank.
For Further Reflection: Read this writing by St. Maximilian Kolbe: “The Immaculate: Mediatrix of Divine Love.” A key passage: “To her (Mary), as to his bride, the Father entrusts the Son, the Son descends in her virginal womb, becoming a son to her, while in her the Holy Spirit prodigiously shapes the body of Jesus and comes to dwell in her soul. He [the Holy Spirit] permeates her so ineffably that the definition of “Bride of the Holy Spirit” is but a distant semblance of the life of the Holy Spirit in her and through her.”
Written by Carey Boyzuck.