Late Advent Weekday — December 21
Song of Songs 2:8-14 + Luke 1:39-45
December 21, 2016
“‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.’”
Today our Scriptures present responses to the coming of the Lord. Both are worthy of our reflection and imitation, although they are very different from each other.
Our First Reading today is from the Old Testament book Song of Songs. This book is highly poetic in nature, and as such, is open to many interpretations. The Church sees in the words of today’s passage a loving longing for the Messiah. It’s the loving nature of this book’s expression of waiting that sets it apart from most of the Old Testament’s waiting for the Messiah.
This book’s insight into the nature of the Messiah and His reason for coming raise it above much of the Old Testament’s desire for earthly security. This book foreshadows the truth of God being love, proclaimed by St. John in his epistles, from which we will hear during the Christmas Season.
Today’s Gospel passage offers us Elizabeth’s response to the Messiah, borne by His Mother. The praise that Elizabeth bestows on her cousin is woven amidst her praise of her Lord. Three times Elizabeth uses the word “blessed” in speaking to Mary: “‘Most blessed are you among women’”; “‘blessed is the fruit of your womb’”; and “‘Blessed are you who believed’”. We honor Our Blessed Mother during Advent and Christmas because it was through love that her life became so closely bound up with that of Our Savior.