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“O Emmanuel,” We Want to See Your Face!

Posted by Guest Blogger on 12/22/15 2:00 AM

Pope Francis burns incense as he celebrates Christmas Eve Mass in Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

A Word from Pope Francis

This week the Church is like Mary: she is awaiting a birth. The Virgin sensed within herself, in body and in soul, that the birth of her child was near. Surely in her heart she said to the baby she was carrying in her womb: “Come, I want to see your face, for they have told me you will be great!”

We accompany Our Lady in this journey of waiting. In fact, the Lord comes twice. His first coming is what we are about to commemorate, his physical birth.

Then we will come at the end of time, at the close of history. St. Bernard tells us that there is a third coming of the Lord: his coming to us each day, the Lord visits his Church. He visits each one of us. And our soul also enters into this likeness: our soul comes to resemble the Church; our soul comes to resemble Mary.

Our souls are waiting in anticipation for the coming of the Lord, open souls calling out: “Come, Lord!” Over the course of these days, the Holy Spirit moves in the heart of each one of us, forming this prayer within us: “Come, come!”

The Immaculate Virgin, as privileged witness of the great events of the history of salvation, “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19): Woman of hearing, woman of contemplation, woman of closeness to the problems of the Church and of people. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and with all the resources of her feminine genius, She did not cease to enter ever more “into all the truth” (John 16:13). Thus Mary is the icon of the Church that, in the impatient awaiting of her Lord, progresses, day after day, in the intelligence of the faith, thanks also to the patient work of men and women theologians. May Our Lady, authentic teacher of theology, obtain for us with her maternal prayer that our charity “abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment” (Philippians 1:9-10).


Topics: Inspiration, Mary, Advent, Featured