The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

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3rd Week of Advent

Date: 
Thu, 12/21/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Christmas has become a time of gift-giving.
Unfortunately, we are overly occupied and concerned with
giving what is material and worldly.
Every year we tackle a challenging task:  deciding what to give.
So we wander through departments store aisles,
page through catalogues, newspaper inserts and adds.
 
Two gifts are suggested in today’s Gospel….
the gifts Mary gave to Elizabeth:  tender love and unselfish service.
 
When Mary learns that Elizabeth was with child….
she didn’t send a card, an email, a text message or even a messenger;
she didn’t send a gift she found on Amazon.com.
She went herself, in person.
Mary packs up and journey’s to Elizabeth’s home….
she went to offer companionship and help.
Now, I have not yet been in the Holy Land,
but I can’t imagine the trip was simple or comfortable.
The journey from Nazareth to the house of Zachariah in Judea was about 90 miles...
(say from Cincinnati to Louisville)
Mary was pregnant.  She was 14 years old.  Either rode in a cart or on the back of a pack animal.
She possibly traveled within a caravan.
This was hill country.
The journey would have taken a little more than a week barring bad weather.
 
As a matter of clarification, I don’t think Mary, in this generous, unselfish act,
compromised her health or that of her child.
No doubt she put aside some of her own wants, and she willingly embraced discomfort
but I don’t think she neglected her personal wellbeing, her personal good.
Yes, she made sacrifices, she exercised self-denial,
but I don’t think she cast aside common sense or personal integrity.
 
In a very real way, Mary carried Christ to Elizabeth.
There can be no greater gift given or received.
 
As we ponder what gift we might give to loved ones
let us not forget or overlook the obvious:
Christmas is about the gift of Christ given to the world.
Through this gift God is saying to the world:  “You are worthy of my time and attention.”
Let us receive this gift with joy.
Through our words and actions,
through tender love and unselfish service
let us give this gift to others.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, Your Son Jesus Christ comes to us through the Virgin Mary.  Help us to emulate her by bringing what is in our hearts, the Savior of the world, to others.  Amen!”