Fourth Sunday of Advent


Today's Mass Readings


Today in our Gospel, we hear the great story of Our Lady’s Visitation to Elizabeth, when Elizabeth tells Mary, “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.”

We celebrate this great Feast of the Visitation on May 31, and this feast is an important one for me because of my consecration, and my family’s, to Our Lady on that day. My grandparents were married at the Church of the Visitation in Kansas City, Missouri, where our family became one branch. Looking at us now, we have become a very strong tree that does get shaken but we never pulled down.

Today is also the O Antiphon of the Root of Jesse which reads, “O Root of Jesse, you have been raised up as a sign for all the peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship. Come to deliver us; delay now no more.” My family tree can never be pulled down because we have as our roots our Catholic faith.

Let me ask you, what are your roots made out of? Are there weeds blocking your roots that need to be pulled, the weeds of sin? Remember to always go to Our Lady; she is always pointing us to her son. Ask her to form your tree into the shape of a cross so that you can learn from that cross to grow closer to her Son Jesus so that you can experience his love for you.

As we contemplate this Advent, and soon the Christmas season, this tiny child who blossomed from Joseph and Mary’s family tree, we contemplate the Savior of the world, the one who created us. With the help of His Mother Mary, He formed his tree into the cross, the Root of Jesse, that will save us all.

I pray that you all have a wonderful Advent and Christmas Season.

Reflection by Br. Maximilian Burkhart, OSB

Print Friendly, PDF & Email