One Minute Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn

One Minute Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Readings: Songs 2: 8-14 or Zephaniah 3: 14-18a; Psalm 33: 2-3, 11-12, 20-21; Luke 1: 39-45

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O Radiant Dawn,
Splendour of Eternal Light,
Sun of Justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” – Luke 1:41-42

REFLECTION – “Everyday we devoutly greet the most Blessed Virgin Mary with the angel’s greeting and we usually add: Blessed is the fruit of thy womb. After she was greeted by the Virgin, Elizabeth added this phrase as if she were echoing the salutation of the Angel – Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. This is the fruit of which Isaiah spoke – On that day the shoot of the Lord shall be splendid and radiant—the sublime fruit of earth. What is this fruit but the holy one of Israel, the seed of Abraham, the shoot of the Lord, the flower arising from the Root of Jesse, the fruit of life, Whom we have shared?

Blessed surely in seed and blessed in the shoot, blessed in the flower, blessed in the gift, finally blessed in thanksgiving and praise, Christ, the Seed of Abraham, was brought forth from the seed of David into the flesh.

He alone among men is found perfected in every good quality, for the Spirit was given to Him without measure so that He alone could fulfill all justice. For His justice is sufficient for all nations, according to the Scriptures. As the earth brings forth its buds and as the garden germinates its own seed, so the Lord God shall bring forth justice and praise before all the nations. For this is the shoot of justice, which the flower of glory adorns with its blessings when it has grown. But how great is this glory? How can anyone think of anything more glorious, or rather, how can anyone conceive of this at all? For the flower rises from the root of Jesse. you ask: “How far?” Surely it rises even to the highest place because Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. His magnificence is elevated above the heavens, so that He, the issue of the Lord, is splendid and glorious, the sublime fruit of earth.

But what is our benefit from this fruit? What other than the fruit of blessing from the blessed fruit? From this seed, this shoot, this flower, surely the fruit of blessing comes forth. It has come even to us; first as a seed it is planted through the grace of pardon, then germinated with the increase of perfection and finally, it flowers in the hope or the attainment of glory. For the fruit was blessed by God and in God, so that God may be glorified through it. For us, too, the fruit was blessed, so that blessed by God, we may be glorified in Him through the promise spoken to Abraham. God made the fruit a blessing for all nations.” – Baldwin of Forde O.Cist ( c 1125– 1190) Cistercian Abbot, Bishop, then Archbishop of Canterbury ( An excerpt from A Sermon on the ‘Hail Mary’).

PRAYER – In Your goodness Lord, as we rejoice at the coming of Your Son in flesh and blood like ours, grant that when He comes again in glory, we may receive the gift of eternal life. And may His Blessed and Immaculate ever Virgin Mother, cast upon us a look of mercy and intercede on our behalf. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.