Advent means “Coming”. Together with Christians world wide we await the Coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas and His Coming in Glory.
The Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, in her flesh, awaited the arrival of the Infant Jesus. She is certainly the most fitting person to help us live and pray during the season of Advent.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
On the 8th of December, we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. She was the woman chosen by God to be the mother of the child Jesus – God. Mary is God’s masterpiece among all cratures. She helps us to desire God, to open up His grace, to discard everything we know that prevents us from the path to Christ and others. Mary, Mother of Mercy helps us to receive God’s forgiveness by offering Him ours ins and weakenesses with confidence.
The word of God
We can only think of the Virgin Mary when we hear the passage from Zephaniah « Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior » (3,14;17) or Isaiah « Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel! » (Isaiah 12, 6). Who better than Mary could say « Lord show us your mercy and grant us your salvation » (Psalm 84,8).
The Virgin Mary experiences a unique intimacy with God. She teaches us to « keep all these things, reflecting on them in her heart » (Luke 2, 19), to pray, dialogue with God, read the Word of God – a passage fro the Gospel ou the First Testament – and to put it into pracice.
In the Gospel of St Luke (1, 39-56) which we shall hear on December 21th, just before Christmas, the Virgin Mary rejoices « My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him ». And Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said « Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me ? ». During Advent we can pray the ‘Hail Mary’ which repeats the very words of Elizabeth. This prayer opens our hearts to God in order to bless His name and make someone happy by a visit.
On the way to Bethlehem
The Virgin Mary while awaiting the birth of Jesus makes her way to Bethlehem with St Joseph to take part in a Census (Luke 2, 1-4).
She shows us the way to abandon ourselves to God’s will, how to adjust with regard to material wealth (out time, family, friends, etc.) in order to encounter God.
Spending Advent with Mary, Mother of Mercy and Christmas the feast of the birth of Jesus we can pray with St Therese of the Infant Jesus « I can not fear a God who became so small for me… I love Him ! For He is only Love and Mercy ».