CALL TO PRAYER
We enter into the season of Advent in the presence of Mary awaiting her child. In the person of Mary, waiting for the birth of Jesus, tradition recognizes a figure of the Church waiting for the fulfillment of the promises. The Church is all Christians, and therefore each of us is a member of the waiting church. Advent recalls the waiting for the birth of the Savior in the flesh. But what are we waiting for? Do we dare to believe that our God became incarnate in the person of his Son who lived in the midst of our human reality?
LET US CONTEMPLATE MARY RESPONDING TO THE VISIT OF THE ANGEL GABRIEL
Mary, it is so that neither God nor neighbors are made to wait
that you set out in haste.
God's visit of love to the world
is immediately transformed, through you, into service.
Servant of the Lord,
you are, at the same time, the servant of humanity.
You go in great haste because love fills you with joy.
As the new Eve, you run,
transported by the One you carry within you,
and you eagerly offer to the world the blessed fruit of your womb.
Holy Mary, share with us this love
that causes you to set out in haste,
which urgently calls you to go to your cousin
in order to share with her the Good News.
Share with us your eagerness to encounter God and neighbor with love and joy.
Rejoice, Mary, you who, according to St. Luke,
are going to the “hill country".
You travel on roads steep and difficult, rocky and unfriendly -
you, the sinless young woman,
surprised at evil and moved by compassion.
You set out on bumpy trails leading to the center of villages,
and opening, as always, paths to your Son.
Towards the pot-holed paths
of the old world, waiting for its spring
-which you bear and which will be born in you -
you set out, the Woman announced beforehand,
younger than the ancient world of sin.
Towards our paths both difficult and steep,
hostile and dangerous, you come.
In the midst of our troubles you reveal to us God’s dream for us,
a dream already fulfilled in you, a marvel of true humanity.
Holy Mary, be truly present to us
so that the difficulties of the road do not hold us back
from responding to the calls of our neighbor.
Our Lady of the Visitation,
grant that we may set out each day, in great haste,
to be of service to our neighbor.
Adapted and translated from a prayer by P. Quiavrac'h, smm