Even though we are just days away from celebrating Christmas, we still find ourselves in the beautiful season of Advent -- a time of waiting and preparing for the Lord. The scene of the Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth in the Gospel is one of great joy and wonder, and we would do well to contemplate and imitate the faith and exuberance of these holy women. In the second reading -- from the Letter to the Hebrews -- we are reminded why the Incarnation was necessary. God took flesh and was born of Mary so that he could offer a perfect sacrifice in obedience, which would bring salvation to the world. This eternal gift begins for us at Christmas, the feast we look forward to celebrating very soon.