Great events entail great preparations. In the liturgies of Advent, the Church provides us with the time and space to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Christmas.
During this time of preparation, I find inspiration by considering the line of faith from Abraham to Our Blessed Mother. God made a promise to Abraham, and for generations, his descendants continued to watch and wait and to pray and hope until the promise was fulfilled in Jesus through Mary.
At Christmas, we receive Jesus into the world, but it is really He who receives us. He receives us by taking on our human nature with all its limitations. The infant in the manger receives our humanity entirely, fully, holding nothing about us at arms-length. He received us utterly and completely when He united Himself with our nature.
During Advent, we ponder this strange reality, that in the womb of Mary, God became man. In the Incarnation, Jesus united Himself with our common humanity. That truth is already difficult to grasp, but at every Eucharist, He goes further still. When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, He receives us, not only by being united to us in our human condition but also, in the Blessed Sacrament, He chooses to unite Himself to each of us, uniquely and personally. At that moment, He chooses us, just as He chose Mary, to be His dwelling place. So, let us turn to Mary and ask her to help us prepare our hearts to receive her Son.