Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
”Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
As we arrive at the end of the Advent Season, let us look once again to Our Lady to help us welcome the Christmas Season. Remember how she responded to the message that she would bring forth the Messiah. We too have a role in bringing Christ into the world, so let us give Him our yes! When we give our yes, we participate in Christ entering the lives of others and the whole world.
God wants us to be His hands, His feet, and His love in the world! Not just proclaiming Him with our words, but being a living witness; not just a giving a handout, but offering an embrace of love from a heart filled with the very love of God! We are called to respond to the message of the Lord like Mary – giving our yes and always living out His presence, His love, and His light in the world! Let Christ be praised both now and forever!
Keep Christ in Christmas. This phrase is a great reminder about the real reason for the season, but how does one keep Christ in Christmas?
While there are many great traditions that we can do to celebrate the season, first and foremost, for us to keep Christ at the center of Christmas, we need to have Christ at the center of our lives, our marriages, and our families. We must keep Christ with us always. We need to foster our relationship with Him daily, far beyond the Advent and Christmas seasons. We should strive to live out our call to love Him and love those He loves, which is everyone who crosses our path. We need to go deeper in our understanding of the faith, and deeper in living out the faith. When Christ is the center of our life and our marriage relationship, then He will be the center of each and every Christmas.
Below is a prayer attributed to St. Patrick about this call to have Christ with us always, everywhere at every moment of the day. As a couple, pray it together, and instead of saying “me” say “us,” instead of “my” say “our,” and instead of “I” say “we.”
“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.” – St. Patrick
What blessings or insights have you received during these Advent Reflections?
What are you thankful for from this time together in prayer?
Ask the Lord for a particular blessing that you would like your spouse to receive this Christmas. On their behalf, make your request together in prayer and conclude with “The Hail Mary.”
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen.
“In each Hail Mary we bless both Jesus and Mary: ‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is thy fruit of thy womb Jesus.’” – St. Louis De Montfort
Make a plan today to continue to come together for couple prayer, learn a particular aspect of the faith together, study Sacred Scripture together, volunteer together, participate in your parish marriage ministry, or start one together at your home. Use our new date-night marriage enrichment series called United in Love United in Christ to help grow in your love for each other and your love for Christ.