December 21, 2020

“O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.” What a powerful message this “O Antiphon” has for us today as we experience the darkest day of the year in what continues to be a dark year in our human history. We are filled with Advent expectation that there will soon be a radiant dawn.

The first reading today speaks of anticipation, and the lover’s coming being fulfilled. “Hark! My lover—here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills.” In the words of today’s gospel, we read: “At the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” In a few short days, we will celebrate the words from the Book of Wisdom “Your almighty Word leaped down from heaven” (Wisdom 18:15).

The radiant dawn has already come! The lover is here! The Word is in our midst! And yet, we still anticipate, we still look, we still wait. As in the Song of Songs, we are invited to arise and come to the Lord. Mary arose and went to Elizabeth to help her, and in that simple act of kindness, her “Yes” was affirmed. “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?”

Do we have Elizabeth’s eyes of faith to recognize with joy the coming of the Lord? Do we recognize his coming when we reach out to others with kindness? Do we recognize his coming to us in our prayer and our celebration of Eucharist? Are we able to stand in hope as we await the dawn? For whom will you be a radiant dawn today?

Let Us Pray:

Lord, grant us faith to recognize your coming. Grant us generosity to bring your love and care to others. And give us joy in knowing that you are always with us. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Mary Muehle

Mary is an Associate of the Blessed Sacrament, parishioner of Saint Paschal Baylon Church and a former chaplain at Grace Hospice in Cleveland, Ohio.