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Apostolic Movement

Covenant Day… on the verge of Christmas

Silvina and Raúl Viñas

December 18th. As it happens every year, this date finds us ending the Advent season on the verge of Christmas. It is a special time of grace, important, gratifying.

Yesterday, in the Mass of “Gaudete” (Joy) Sunday, all the readings referred to an extraordinary event, long awaited and announced by the prophets: the coming of the Messiah, the Savior. At the beginning, the Antiphon stated: “Rejoice in the Lord always! And again I say to you: Rejoice! Let everyone know your mercy. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4-5).

Then in the Psalm we heard the Magnificat, that song of joy recited by the Virgin Mary when she received the Angel’s announcement and gave her confident acceptance to God’s plan.

Christmas requires a special interior preparation

At Christmas, the history of salvation reaches its climax in Christ. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the Lord of history and of time.

Often, perhaps by force of habit or because of the dizzying pace of our lives, we fail to grasp the greatness of this event that the Church celebrates year after year, offering us a new opportunity for joy and conversion.

Like every manifestation of God, Christmas also requires a special interior preparation. And there is nothing better than to look at our beloved Blessed Mother, the full of grace, to help us live Advent more deeply.

Mary of the Covenant prepares us for Christmas

Only a heart full of faith, like hers, could consent to a plan that surpassed all human understanding and that would lead her from the grotto in Bethlehem to the foot of the cross on Golgotha. Since the Annunciation and facing numerous uncertainties, Mary patiently and joyfully awaits the moment when she would give birth to the Messiah, hold him in her arms and in her bosom. Shortly after his birth, Mary generously places the Child Jesus in the manger to be admired by the shepherds. This is what she has always done, presenting her Son to the world in order to lead us to Him.

These are three sublime examples of how to live faith, hope and love.

Let us be grateful today that one day we were drawn by Her to seal our Covenant of Love in the Shrine. Every time we renew it, her maternal, serene, and dignified face appears before our eyes, holding the Child Jesus and inviting us, as it happened on Christmas with the shepherds, to make room for Him in our simple and filial heart.

Silvina and Raúl Viñas
Leaders of the International Schoenstatt Apostolic Family Federation


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