Advent Devotion for December 21   15 comments

Above: Visitation, by Jacques Daret, Circa 1435

The Mother of My Lord

DECEMBER 21, 2023 (YEAR B)


FIRST READING FOR YEARS A AND B:  Zephaniah 3:14-18a (Revised English Bible):

Zion, cry out for joy;

raise the shout of triumph, Israel;

be glad, rejoice with all your heart,

daughter of Jerusalem!

The LORD has averted your punishment,

has swept away your foes.

Israel, the LORD is among you as king;

never again need you fear disaster.

On that day this must be the message to Jerusalem:

Fear not, Zion, let not your hands hang limp.

The LORD your God is in your midst,

a warrior who will keep you safe.

He will rejoice over you and be glad;

he will show you his love once more;

he will exult over you with a shout of joy

as on a festal day.

FIRST READING FOR YEAR C:  Song of Songs 2:8-14 (Revised English Bible):


Hark!  My beloved!  Here he comes, bounding over mountains, leaping over the hills.

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.

There he stands outside the wall, peering in at the windows, gazing through the lattice.

My beloved spoke, saying to me:

Rise up my darling; my fair one, come away.

For see, the winter is past!  The rains are over and gone;

the flowers appear in the countryside; the season of birdsong is come,

and the turtle-dove’s cooing is heard in our land;

the green figs ripen on the fig trees and the vine blossoms give forth their fragrance.

Rise up, my darling; my fair one, come away.

RESPONSE:  Psalm 33:1-5, 20-22 (Revised English Bible):

Shout for joy in the LORD, you that are righteous;

praise comes well from the upright.

Give thanks to the LORD on the lyre;

make music to him on the ten-stringed harp.

Sing to him a new song;

strike up with all your skill and shout in triumph,

for the word of the LORD holds true,

and all his work endures.

He is a lover of righteousness and justice;

the earth is filled with the LORD’s unfailing love.

We have waited eagerly for the LORD;

he is our help and our shield.

In him our hearts are glad,

because we have trusted in his holy name.

LORD, let your unfailing love rest on us,

as we have put our hope in you.

GOSPEL:  Luke 1:39-45 (Revised English Bible):

Soon afterwards Mary set out and hurried away to a town in the uplands of Judah.  She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.  And when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby stirred in her womb.  Then Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed in a loud voice,

God’s blessing is on you above all women, and his blessing is on the fruit of your womb.  Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?  I tell you, when your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy.  Happy is she who has faith that the Lord’s promise to her would be fulfilled!

The Collect:

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


This day’s readings consist of a combination of verse and prose poetry.  Sometimes the most appropriate contemplation of a wondrous event entails poetry.

I have spent the last few minutes typing the readings from a hardcover Bible and contemplating them along the way.  At this moment my contemplations take me to a spiritual place where words are woefully inadequate.  This, I think, is a healthy sign.  So I encourage you to ponder these lessons and let them take you to a profound spiritual place beyond words, and to exist there for a while.

May the peace of the incarnated God be with you now and always.


Written on June 3, 2010


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: