“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you” – Luke 1: 28

Love is an essential human need and experience. Love is transformative! In today’s scripture, Mary encounters the Living God in her ordinary life. What a shock that must have been. She was greatly troubled at what was said.

Then Mary humbly says, “yes” by accepting this invitation. She is amazed to learn of her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy. She heads off to visit with her, and she is warmly encouraged by Elizabeth’s greeting.

Every person and event one encounters can be a grace-filled occasion. Mary and Elizabeth renewed a sense of family and community. Mary burst out with the canticle of the Magnificat.

Some years ago, a fellow chaplain suggested that in singing Christmas carols or songs, I recall when I first heard them, who I was with, where I was. Feelings of gratitude for memories of relatives, family, teachers, fellow classmates, and faithful companions filled my heart. I recalled parish Christmas pageants, the Sisters and teachers, my family decorating the tree – all alive and encouraging once again.

Some memories are painful. I’ve learned to forgive or ask forgiveness to let them go. May I suggest you recall these songs in gratitude this blessed Christmas Season.

Remember Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the Magi, and we – are at times on the margin. Pope Francis invites us to accompany those on the margins, mindful that the Spirit is at work in their lives too – even in our families.

May we, like Mary, magnify the Lord in us!

Let us sing a joyful song!


Brother Kenney Gorman, C.F.X.

To view the full Advent 2022 booklet in English, click here.

For Spanish, click here.

For French, click here.

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