“Lo, I have come to do Thy will.” (Heb 10,9)
During Advent we read in the Liturgy that love knows how to keep watch (I Dom.); we saw love as the perfect realization of itself (the Immaculate Conception); reciprocal love as light and fire that renders present Jesus among us (II Dom.); love as the source of joy in giving (III Dom.). On Christmas eve the liturgy speaks to us of the greatest love, or rather of the sacrifice of ourselves, of our wills, motivated by the example of Jesus and Mary. In the letter to the Hebrews we are reminded of the words of the Son of God: "Lo, I have come to do Thy will"; and the Gospel of Christmas eve presents us with Mary who visits Elizabeth, concrete actuation of her yes to God: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
It is in total obedience to the will of God that we accomplish the perfect sacrifice: we do not give things, time or affections, but all of ourselves. It is in the daily yes that we deny ourselves and we confirm what the Scriptures say: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (1Sam 15:22). Saint Bernard, the cantor of Mary, exclaims that Mary pleased God for her virginity, but she conceived and became a mother because of her humility.
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An Experience of Life:
I had to be absent the whole day in order to participate in a meeting precisely on Mother’s Day. I talked it over with my wife and all seemed very well that I might be absent that day. Many times, however, I perceived a certain malcontent on the part of the children and also of my wife. It was for me the bell of alarm, the click of the trigger, the moment to live the Word.
From that moment I disengaged myself from that meeting and I began to live for Mother’s Day, for my wife, to begin with the children to choose a gift. I wanted that that day might be really beautiful, a true gift for my wife. For this I remained with her always, helping her in her work: washing the dishes, preparing to eat, doing the chores around the house. She was a little struck in seeing me always with her, but I said to her that this was the surprise to live Mother’s Day: I really wanted to share time with her, to live for her. We did everything together and it was wonderful. She was very pleased; myself and the kids were happy.
Renato S., Venice (Venezia), Italy