Dec. 12: Only connect

Dec. 12: Second Tuesday of Advent

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth (Lk 1:39-40).

Advertisement

Announcing a pregnancy to a beloved friend or family member has to rank up near the top of life’s most joyful moments. But it is not just times of joy that lead us to seek human contact. We learn of a neighbor’s death and head over to the house with casserole in hand (well, we do in the South, anyway). We hear of a friend’s job promotion and take her out for a celebratory lunch. We receive a grim diagnosis or some bad news, and we immediately reach for the hand of a parent, a spouse, a best friend, a mentor.

Sharing the burdens and gifts that life brings to us is essential to being human. Indeed, God recognized this instinct for companionship in the first moments of the created world, when he declared that it was not good for adam, or the “earth-creature,” to be alone.

Today’s vignette of the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth stands out for its warm intimacy—especially in a biblical context that does not furnish a plethora of stories about females. The mutual comfort and joy of these two women, whose lives have been upended by the hand of God, is endearing and exemplary. Mary and Elizabeth embody the genuine connections of clasped hands, locked eyes, warm embraces, voices lifted up together. These are tangible demonstrations of love and affection that give the lie to the faux connectivity offered by social media and iDevices.

In these remaining days of Advent—and beyond—let us strive to be truly present to one another in ways that divide our burdens and multiply our joys.

Loving Lord, Inspire us to strengthen the bonds of human connection, and to be truly attentive to the needs of others. Amen.

For today’s readings, click here.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.
Mélanie Thierry as Marguerite Duras in “Memoir of War.” © Music Box Films
The film tells the story of a woman who worked for the German-controlled Vichy government but secretly joined the Resistance movement.
A. W. Richard Sipe (photo: Facebook)
Sipe's research into celibacy and priestly sexual behavior helped guide the work of church leaders and others responding to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
Catholic News ServiceAugust 17, 2018
Did Pope Francis depart from Scripture and tradition in declaring the death penalty "inadmissible"? Or was his declaration rooted deeply in both?
Tobias WinrightAugust 17, 2018