Day 10: Baby Ambrose had honey left on his face by a swarm of bees, a sign his parents rightly interpreted.
A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!– Is 40-1-11
If you happen to live in Milan, Italy, today is a festive holiday because it’s the feast of St. Ambrose, Milan’s patron saint, who became known throughout the Christian world as a holy bishop, teacher, and theologian.
Born in 340 AD, Aurelius Ambrosius, as he was called, became Milan’s governor and four years later was made bishop, despite the fact that he didn’t want the job. Ambrose is often shown with bees or beehives because of a legend going back to his infancy. Supposedly, a swarm of bees left some honey on his sleeping face, which his parents interpreted to mean that he would grow up to be a man of great eloquence. They were right about that. And while Ambrose’s life may seem a little remote to us today, his example of using his voice to defend what is right and to draw people to the faith through his words is as much a part of being Christian today as it was in his time.
Our first reading today in the Mass is the beginning of Isaiah 40, which speaks about Israel crying out to the Lord and preparing a way for him. Ambrose lived this out in his day and invited his flock to do the same.
This Advent, how can we use our voices to speak the truth, to show God’s love to others, and to cry out to the Lord in prayer?
Never forget the power of your voice to help you grow closer to Christ and to change the world.
Lord, as you did with St. Ambrose,
help us to use our voices to speak kindly and truthfully,
to defend what is right, to teach our children well,
to cry out to you with our needs, and to give glory to you in all that we say and do.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God,
for ever and ever.