More than a Countdown

Let’s look a little closer on the Advent mystery of God becoming flesh!

The gospel writer could merely have said that God wanted Mary to be the mother of the Redeemer and she agreed. Instead, Luke gives us a dialogue between Mary and God’s messenger. He shows Mary being troubled, shows her humanity and builds some suspense, gives us a little time to absorb the great event and great truth of God splitting all human history by this historic event, at the instant of Mary saying “yes” to God.

By putting what may have happened in a moment into a narrative, Luke can show various aspects of this mind-boggling event and give us a little time to grasp the greatness and uniqueness of it. God may have created the world in an instant but the book of Genesis spreads the work over six days or periods of time to give us time to absorb and take in the meaning of creation.

We do likewise in our prayers. What we essentially have to say could perhaps be said in a moment, but we want to spell out our prayer, build upon it, give it an opportunity to engage not only our minds but our hearts and, sometimes, our troubled feelings as well. After the birth of Jesus and after the shepherds had left, Luke says, “Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart.” Our Advent preparation is more than a countdown of shopping days till Christmas, it is the time to reflect on the mystery of the root of Jesse and its fulfillment in the birth of Jesus.
-Msgr. Joseph Ranieri

Let’s look a little closer on the Advent mystery of God becoming flesh!

The gospel writer could merely have said that God wanted Mary to be the mother of the Redeemer and she agreed. Instead, Luke gives us a dialogue between Mary and God’s messenger. He shows Mary being troubled, shows her humanity and builds some suspense, gives us a little time to absorb the great event and great truth of God splitting all human history by this historic event, at the instant of Mary saying “yes” to God.

By putting what may have happened in a moment into a narrative, Luke can show various aspects of this mind-boggling event and give us a little time to grasp the greatness and uniqueness of it. God may have created the world in an instant but the book of Genesis spreads the work over six days or periods of time to give us time to absorb and take in the meaning of creation.

We do likewise in our prayers. What we essentially have to say could perhaps be said in a moment, but we want to spell out our prayer, build upon it, give it an opportunity to engage not only our minds but our hearts and, sometimes, our troubled feelings as well. After the birth of Jesus and after the shepherds had left, Luke says, “Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart.” Our Advent preparation is more than a countdown of shopping days till Christmas, it is the time to reflect on the mystery of the root of Jesse and its fulfillment in the birth of Jesus.
-Msgr. Joseph Ranieri