Here is part of our Old Testament reading, from Zephaniah: ‘Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival’.

Words of joy and gladness ring out strongly in this passage, which looks with heightened expectation towards the coming of the Messiah, who will be ‘in the midst’. We can think also of Our Lady, who certainly bore the Messiah ‘in her midst’. We too are called to be Christ-bearers to one another in our daily lives.

May you experience joy and renewal as you prepare for the coming of Christ this Christmas, and may God bless you this day.