Sunday, December 23 – Sunday of the Fourth Week of Advent Micah 5:1-4; Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45 Mrs. Kate Phenicie, Spiritual Life Director For ages, the Israelites longed for the coming of the Messiah, as we should long for Him now in anticipation of His coming at Christmas. There is a part in the Mass during the second preface for Advent (which is said right before the Eucharistic Prayer) that has been really moving to me all season; it says, “For all the oracles of the prophets foretold him, the Virgin Mother longed for him with love beyond all telling, John the Baptist sang of his coming and proclaimed his presence when he came.” While all of Israel was certainly awaiting Jesus’ coming and John the Baptist rejoiced in it, in a special way, Mary anticipated it, doubly as a disciple and as His mother. I was speaking with someone earlier this week about my anxieties over pregnancy and motherhood and they suggested I meditate on Mary, and I think this is actually great advice for us all as Christmas draws near. Take her example and “ponder all these things in your heart.”