We are now in the final days of Advent. Is our longing for the Lord stronger? Is our cry for the Lord more intimate?  Today’s first reading from the Song of Songs is perhaps one of the most intimate expressions of longing for the Lord in all of Sacred Scripture, and instructs us to be equally intimate in our desire for and relationship with Christ.

My lover speaks; he says to me,
“Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one,
and come!
“For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!

“O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely.”  (Song of Songs 2:8-14)

Advent is a time to be more in touch with the deep longing of our hearts for Christ.  This is a holy season of speaking with loving tenderness with our Friend, Jesus.  The Lord is always searching for a meaningful, life-giving relationship with us, and we are called to search for him with the same, loving desire.  

As a lover loses interest in all else but the one who is loved, so we are called to be singularly in pursuit and service of Christ.  As a lover knows great joy in the love that is found and shared, so the Christian knows the joy of discipleship.  This joy is expressed in today’s Psalm 33:

Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.

Once we allow ourself to be ‘conquered’ by the love of the Lord, we are led beyond ourself to share this love and to tell the world of this love.  Take for instance today’s Gospel when Mary, filled with the Holy Spirit and the newly conceived ‘Word of God’ hurries to visit her cousin Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-45)

My prayer for you this day is that you know the intimate love of Christ for you, and that all of God’s people seek the Lord above all else.