This Christmas, Light Up a Room as Mary Did

The Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Advent provides us with a key for how to enter into Christmas. We hear of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. Mary enters and Elizabeth is filled with joy. Why? Because Mary is carrying Jesus within her. She is bringing Good News into Elizabeth’s home. She is bringing the nearness of God to Elizabeth. Mary knows how to light up a room!

As we gather with family and friends this Christmas, may we each take a lesson from Mary and enter into each setting as the bearer of Good News—the reality of the nearness of God. Let’s set aside our own agendas and come only with the agenda of God, which is to bring selfless love to those we encounter. Enter with a smile and a glow that betrays the knowledge you carry within you that God is with us and we have nothing to fear. Don’t worry about words; Mary didn’t need any words to cause the baby within Elizabeth’s womb to leap for joy.

How will people react when you enter a room this Christmas? Will they be thinking, “Oh no, here comes Debbie Downer,” or will something within them leap for joy, knowing that love has visited their home? Mary didn’t perform any miracles or magic tricks upon entering Elizabeth’s home. Nor did she come in reciting any great speeches. She simply offered a greeting. She just brought love. And Elizabeth’s life was transformed.

May God bless you this Christmas season and may you bear the light of Christ with you wherever you go!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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