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‘Tis the Season: Weekly Message for 12-6-16
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi:
Jesus said he had “come to set the earth on fire” (Luke 12:49) and to establish “division” (v. 12:51).
He knew his message at times would be hard-edged. That might be one reason why he knew that his presence in history needed a complement – the softening presence of a woman.
That is where the Blessed Virgin Mary figures so prominently.
Her calming presence in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles is a reminder of the serenity that she brought and still brings to the lives of the faithful.
Our Lady has shown herself in many ways throughout history and is known under many titles. Two of those titles we recall in a special way in December: the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Those feasts are a reminder that the patroness of the U.S. and the patroness of all the Americas are one and the same person. So blessed with the same Mother, people from the Arctic Circle to Cape Horn have plenty of reason for living as brothers and sisters.
At least that is the ideal. Each of us can work toward that ideal this month by our personal preparation for Christmas. Like Mary, who “kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51), we too can keep the things of Christ in our hearts.
Perhaps a little less TV or Internet during Advent, and a little more time for prayer or spiritual reading, would be a nice way to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child.
Or perhaps a past Advent retreat from RC Spirituality would help, http://rcspirituality.org/the-hidden-treasures-of-christmas-a-retreat-guide-for-advent/.
However we live the coming weeks, ’tis the season to accompany Our Lady… and to rediscover the bonds that unite all of us as siblings in Christ.
I wish you a blessed Advent.
Father Edward McIlmail, L.C.
Ask a Priest contributor