Tag Archives: Visitation

The temptation of Christmas

Nativity of the Lord JFlanders.jpg

Have we finished the Christmas season in good order? Have we exceeded our expectation to live the season of Christmas differently from what secular culture has given us? Or, have we given up and just given ourselves over to the mediocrity of the the world around us with regard to Christian Faith?  What follows is a very interesting commentary on our Christian observance of the Birth of Jesus, the Nativity of God-Man by Father Julián Carrón. While the today brings to a close the Church’s yearly observance of Christmastide, we have work to do before we put to rest the nagging questions: what difference does this Child make in my life? AND Do we really believe that God is in our midst?


In order to describe our humanity and to see ourselves properly at this moment in the world’s history, it is hard for us to find more appropriate words than those contained in this passage by the Prophet Zephaniah. “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!”. Why? What reason is there to rejoice, with all that is happening in the world? Because “the Lord has taken away the judgments against you”.

The first repercussion that these words produced in me was surprise at how the Lord looks at us: with a gaze that succeeds in seeing things that we shall not be able to recognize unless we participate in his same gaze at reality. “The Lord has taken away the judgments against you”: in other words, your evil does not have the last word over your life; the usual way you look at yourself is not the right one; the look with which you constantly reproach yourself is not true. The one true look is the Lord’s look. And it is precisely by this look that you will be able to understand that he is with you: if he has taken away the judgment against you, what can you fear? “You shall fear evil no more”. An inexorable positiveness prevails over life. For this reason, the biblical passage continues, “do not fear, O Zion, do not let your hands grow weak” Why? Because “The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory”. There is no other source of joy than this: “he will rejoice over you with gladness. He will renew you with his love, he will exult over you with loud singing” (3:14-17).

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The Visitation as a model for Christian life

Visitation LRobbia.jpgAdvent is moving us closer and closer to the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God–Jesus. Among the rich readings of sacred Scripture we have in the Liturgy, there is today’s that recalls for us Mary’s visiting her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist. The Visitation is the second of the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

Looking at what is given to us to meditate on, the vocation of woman is brought out. Looking around us the culture does’t offer too many exceptional models of woman for us to take inspiration. 
This morning we prayed the Sacrifice of the Mass with the young women of New York’s Dominican Academy, Dominican Father Ignatius Schweitzer said he noticed six characteristics which portray Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as a fitting role model for all people, but noteworthy of women. While Mary may be a little removed from some Christians real experience, I think the lack is filled with Mass readings today.
The six characteristics are:
1. Mary is a woman of faith;
2. Mary puts her faith into action;
3. Mary takes the initiative;
4. Mary brings joy to Elizabeth;
5. Mary is a community-builder;
6. Mary is a caring mother.
It is up to us to flesh out the details of these characteristics because TODAY the Savior is recognized.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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