On this day

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

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On this day, the winter solstice, in the first reading at Mass, the Beloved "comes leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills".

"For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth.
The season of glad songs has come,
the cooing of the turtledove
is heard in our land."

In the Gospel, more hills and more leaping. "Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."

And at Vespers, on this shortest day of the year, we sing: "O Rising Dawn, splendor of Light eternal and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death."

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