1st Sunday of Advent: The Morning After the Annunciation
[picture of a synagogue in Capernaum, Israel]
Don’t you wonder what it was like for Mary when the sun rose on the morning after the Annunciation?
Did it all come flooding back to her? And with the memory of a divine visitation from Archangel Gabriel, did the whole history of God’s people rush through her mind?
Did she reach down with the palm of her hand and touch her own tummy – and think about it all? This little life was the reason for all that had happened.
A man called out of Ur.
A little boy who was almost sacrificed by his father.
Dueling twins; and a slightly conniving mother.
A brother sold into slavery.
A baby placed in the Nile and left to divine mercy.
A slain lamb, parting seas, gift of manna, pillar & cloud.
Fire raining down on Mount Carmel.
A shepherd boy who became a king.
Did the history fill her soul as the Lord of Life took on flesh within her womb? Did she think of the women who came before her?
Hannah with little Samuel.
Ruth after the harvest, after the wedding, after she discovered she was carrying a child.
And the women who played a role in saving them all … Deborah & Jael, Queen Esther, Judith.
As the first rays of light came through the cracks around the doorframe, did she think of the Shema within the mezuzah attached to that very doorframe? Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord is one. Did she think, “Your Lord is coming, my beloved people. He is here, though I cannot yet feel Him. He is here.”
And in the first moments of that first day after the Annunciation, did her mind turn to the synagogues and the temple? Did she long to hear the message proclaimed there? What she held in the silence of her heart, the Truth about what was happening in her womb – it would change everything. He would change everything.
Welcome to Advent. Let us journey with Mary to Bethlehem. Let us do what she probably did that first morning. Smile. Laugh to yourself a little. You know something they don’t yet know. The most exciting wait of your life has begun.
Mary knew it. Let us live it.
“Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from your sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand” (Romans 13:11-12).