Sunday, December 18, 2011

Advent 4

Today we see the heart of the Incarnation.  That the indescribable and beyond words God could take human flesh and become one with us.  The teaching we receive from this exchange between the angel Gabriel and Mary conveys to us that utter openness to the Father's will reveals the presence of God.  Mary becomes a challenge for us today in that we too are called to make the Word of God part of our flesh.

The great song of Mary, the Magnificat, gives us an insight into Mary's spirituality.  Mary summarizes the saving works of God up to this point.  As Mary ponders the great and awesome works of God throughout human history, she easily commits herself to the call of God the Father.  More so because she understands that God has been faithful in the past, God will continue to work the impossible in the present time.

Mary has no problem believing that God can and will become enfleshed.  It is in Mary's very acceptance of the "Mystery hidden" for ages, her very openness to the promise of God's intimacy with us, that yields her pregnancy.  Herein she was fertile to bear the Most high into the world for our salvation and peace.

Mary's faithfulness is our invitation to a life of holiness.  Mary is a model of what we might become if we imitate her unconditional love of the Father.  We too are called to be that chaste son and daughter of Israel, walking on holy ground, welcoming the love of God within us.  But we might add that as faithful disciples we are to be 'God-bearer' to those in our house as well.  Mary runs to her cousin's house to assist her.  There are many folks that we can encounter and share the good news with.  Mary's faith opens our eyes to see that divinity walks around in our midst in human skin.

From the very beginning God desired to live in the tents and fringes of our human life.  Jesus will minister to the 'low-born,' sick, and outcast.  God encounters all men and women, and makes all humanity sacred, but has a special place in his heart for the poor and oppressed.  Matthew's genealogy reminds us that God works with and through even broken vessels.

From the time when Sin entered the world God sought to save us.  God continues to lift us up and sanctify us with his love and mercy.  Ultimately Jesus will suffer, die, and rise from the dead.  The Incarnation points to the reality of God's love and friendship with us.

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