e have one of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary for this Sunday’s Gospel: The Visitation. Mary visited Elizabeth when her heavily pregnant cousin needed support. This is an example that we should follow this Christmas. This season is traditionally one that we look forward to with excitement and joy but for many people, it is the time of the year that they dread the most. I am talking about people who live alone, grieve the loss of a loved one, are burdened by bills they cannot pay, and so on. It seems to them that everyone else is enjoying life and that makes the pain worse. This Sunday, as we think of Mary visiting Elizabeth, let us ask ourselves: “Is there anybody I should visit with a word of support?” Your presence could be the best gift you could give someone this year.
Elizabeth was certainly honoured with Mary’s presence. She was honoured by the visit of the mother of the Lord. In the same way, we should be honoured in the coming of the Lord Himself. It is sad, however, that for many Christmas Day has been taken over by shopping, excessive eating and drinking and merry-making. It is ironic that the feast of Christmas originated in the fourth century to counteract the hedonism of the pagan festival of mid-winter when the sun begins to return. Along the way, we have forgotten Christ and reverted to the pagan ways of celebrating. As Christmas draws near, let us pause, be still, and push aside the clutter long enough to appreciate the wonder of His coming and what it means for the whole world.