• Immersed in Christ

Mercy is Appearing

December 21: Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Year C2

Song of Songs 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-1; Luke 1:39-45

If all we can do is “make an appearance” at a wedding or funeral, or when someone is sick or sorrowing, it is still mercy. We are coming to the aid of another in a way that expresses our relationship. Sometimes an appearance is all that is necessary; sometimes it is all that is possible. But always it is lifegiving; always it is an act of mercy.


Elizabeth said to Mary, “The moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” Just Mary’s presence, her making an appearance, made Elizabeth aware she was loved—by God as well as by her cousin: “How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”


We are all God’s “dawning” to others. We are the body of Christ. He is in us not just as a baby in the womb but as a partner in being, speaking with our lips, embracing with our arms, helping with our hands. His eternal light dawns afresh in us and through us daily, in ever-new ways. Everyone we deal with should be able to say that, in and through us, “my lover speaks; he says to me, ‘Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come!”


Daily Practice: Be merciful. Let Christ’s light shine in you and through you differently every day.


Advent Prayer: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light...come shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

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