Sunday, December 23, 2012


The Expectant Virgin

O EMMANUEL, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the nations and their  Savior.  Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel".

Expectant Virgin- German
With this antiphon our expectation finds joy now in the certainty of fulfillment.  We call Jesus by one of the most personal and intimate of His titles, Emmanuel, God-with-us.  We recall that in His birth from the Virgin Mary God takes on our very flesh and human nature: God coming nearer to us than we could have ever imagined!  Yet He is also to be exalted above us as our king, the lawgiver and judge, the one whom we honor and obey.  And He is our Savior, long-expected by all creation.

Today is also the 4th and last Sunday of Advent which gives us the wonderful Gospel of the Visitation, where Mary hastens to visit Elizabeth, having found that she too is with child.

Elizabeth experienced a jump in her womb and Luke ascribes it to John’s recognition of Jesus. It captures beautifully the emotion and feeling of that meeting between the two pregnant women.
Jim Janknegt- USA
 Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit cried out on a loud voice:
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb." (Lk.1)

Mary and Elizabeth both saw themselves as willing instruments in the hands of God. They both knew that even though they didn't fully understand the "how" or the "what" of God's activities He was at work in their lives and that the FIAT from both was to have consequences to our day.

In these two women , God has again taken the obscure and unthinkable and put it at the beginning of His work. Again, His way, not ours.


The events of our redemption all really begin at the meeting of John and Jesus in the desert and so this early history is just setting us up for that event.  Both women in the Gospel offered their bodies for God’s purpose.

Through the body of Christ we ourselves have been blessed, just as Mary has been blessed, and we too are able to carry the body of Christ within us. The Incarnation can take place within us each time we receive Him in the Eucharist.

Dr. He Qi
Visitation- John Armstrong- England 1949

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