You know something cool about the Catholic liturgy? We celebrate parts of the Christmas story throughout the year. Many of the Gospel readings that we are hearing at this time are also used at other times. For instance, today’s Gospel reading from Luke 1 is the same reading for the Feast of the Visitation on May 31. So we get parts of the Christmas story through the year!
There are two options for a first reading today. One is from Song of Songs, one of the most beautiful, and certainly the most sensual book in the Bible. God fulfills these beautiful passages in the birth of Christ Jesus. Another option is from Zephaniah 3. Check this out…”The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you…”
Think about that for a moment. “The Lord is in your midst.” As Catholics, that is true in so many ways. Jesus comes to us in the poor, in the Sacraments and especially in the Eucharist. And not only is He in our midst, but He is singing joyfully because of you! So many think of Jesus as some cosmic cop, ready to punish for every little thing. But today’s Scripture tells a different story. He’s rejoicing and singing for joy because of you! Can you hear Him?
Father, we thank you for Jesus in our midst. May we always recognize Him, and hear His voice as He sings joyfully because of us! Amen.