Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advent: Let Christ grow in us

“During those days, Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste in a town of Judah where she entered the house of Zachary and greeted Elizabeth.”

English author Caryll Houselander, in her book “The Reed of God”, reflects and sees the young Mary’s great love for her aging cousin, Elizabeth. Houselander writes: “Many women, if they were expecting a child, would refuse to hurry over the hills on a visit of pure kindness… The Mother of God considered no such thing. Elizabeth was going to have a child too, and although Mary’s own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth’s need – almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her.

“She greeted her cousin Elizabeth and at the sound of her voice, John quickened in his mother’s womb and leapt for joy.

“I am come,” Christ said, “that they may have life and may have it more abundantly.” Even before He was born, his presence gave life.

Caryll Houselander goes on to ask herself how Elizabeth knew what had happened to Mary. She surmises that “She knew it by the child within herself, by the quickening into life which was a leap of joy.”

She tell us that if Christ is growing in us… if we go with eager wills “in haste” to wherever our circumstances compel us because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love. And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life with them.

And so we ask ourselves as we approach Christmas; are we especially aware of the Christ growing within us? Do we go with eager haste to where circumstances call us, believing that Christ wants to be there through our presence?