Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
(Song of Songs 2:8-14; Luke 1:39-45)
The Song of Songs originally had nothing to do with religion. It was written as a poem exalting the physical attraction in adolescent love. But Jewish elders saw the poem’s passion as expressive of God’s love for Israel. Christian teachers likewise thought of it as illustrating of Christ’s love for the Church. Although its imagery may be embarrassingly sensuous, few would strike it from Sacred Scripture. It dramatically testifies of the goodness of sexual love in marriage.
Read before Christmas, the Song of Songs indicates Christ’s passion to come the world. He loves it so much that he runs to it. Like a smitten lover, he sees the beauty of the beloved in the midst of many faults. The beloved as well yearns for her lover. When he comes close, she is like John leaping in his mother’s womb.
We can rejoice that the celebration of Christmas is at hand. The general goodwill renews our faith that Christ has redeemed the world of its sin. The efforts of family members reinforce our perception that family and culture are integral to faith. The way the world seems to stop to give tribute to Jesus reassures us that our hope is viable.