Word of the day
Reading of the day
Hark! my lover–here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.
My lover speaks; he says to me,
"Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one,
"For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
"O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely."
Gospel of the day
Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Most 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?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."
Words of the Holy Father
Joyful Mary rose up and went in haste…’ Joy brings us in haste, always, because the grace of the Holy Spirit does not recognize slowness… The Holy Spirit always goes in haste, always pushes us: going forward, forward, forward, like the wind in the sails, on the boat… This is the joy that the Church tells us about: please, we are joyful Christians, we make every effort to show that we believe we are redeemed, that the Lord has forgiven us all. This is the message for today: ‘Rise up!’ This is the call of Jesus to the sick: ‘Rise up, cry out with joy, rejoice, be glad and exult with all your heart!’” (Santa Marta, 21 December 2017)