Today is Friday the 21 December, in the Third week of Advent.

The monks of Pluscarden Abbey sing: Exspectans exspectavi Dominum: I waited and waited for the Lord, and he has looked upon me, he heard my cry.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.

It’s a touching scene, the meeting of these two cousins.  How do you imagine it? Can you picture the scene?   What the Judean hill country looks like?   Are the hills steep or gentle?; the land green or dry and dusty?  What is Zechariah’s house like?   Can you picture Elizabeth and Mary?  - the looks on their faces as they meet?  What else can you see?

Now imagine what they say – hear them say it: Mary’s greeting; Elizabeth’s delight and praise for her young cousin.

You might well imagine that they embraced each other.  Can you imagine the warmth of that embrace?  - the love and the joy expressed in it?

And now for a few moments consider what they are doing, what is happening here: two women, two faithful servants of God, carrying in their wombs John, the Baptist, and Jesus, the Christ; how through these two women who put themselves at God’s service, God’s plan continues to unfold.

Finally, reflect for some time on yourself.  Speak to God, as you would to a friend, about this scene, what you noticed about, how you respond to it, what it moves you to desire, or to do.