Readings and Reflection for Decembe 21 Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent


Behold, my beloved comes leaping upon the mountains.
A reading from the Song of Solomon (Song of Solomon 2:8-14)

The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle, or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my dove, my fair one, and come away; for behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs; and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is comely.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm33:2-3.11-12.20-21(R. 1a, 3a)
R/. Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; O sing him a song that is new.

Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp; 
with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs. 
O sing him a song that is new;
Play skilfully, with shouts of joy. R/.

The designs of the Lord stand forever, 
the plans of his heart from age to age.
Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord, 
the people he has chosen as his heritage. R/.

R/. Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; O sing him a song that is new.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord. 
He is our help and our shield.
In him do our hearts find joy.
We trust in his holy name. R/.

Alleluia. O Emmanuel, our King and Law giver! Come and save us, O Lord our God. Alleluia.

“Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke1:39-45)

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Mary brought the Lord to Elizabeth, and Elizabeth in turn recognized the coming of the Lord through Mary. The Lord was at the heart of their meeting. We are called to bring the Lord to those we visit and to recognize the Lord in all those who visit us. The Lord is to be at the heart of the visits we make to one another too. In a few days we shall be celebrating the most decisive visit: God’s visit to us in and through Mary’s child. Zechariah declared in his great prayer, “God has visited his people.” We are called to make that great visitation of God to us in Jesus real and concrete in our visits to each other at Christmas time.


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