Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CreamCity: The Annunciation and the Wise Virgins

The Annunciation - James Tissot
How like our God to allow the fate of the world and all humanity to hang on the lips of a teenage girl from Nazareth.

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, the day when we return to the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke and hear what the angel Gabriel said when he flew in Mary’s window one fine day. “Hail, full of grace.” And we know that Mary was startled. The Gospel says, in an almost-comic understatement, “she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” But when it came down to the moment of decision, Mary was ready. “May it be done to me according to your word,” she said. And the Word became flesh.

Mary didn’t know that Gabriel was coming. She didn’t know what God had in in store. But her heart was open and her mind prepared. She was innocent because she was wise.

The feast of the annunciation has special meaning for women religious. I remember, some years ago, attending a first vows ceremony. It was held in a big church in the Bronx. There were twelve young women present, all taking the veil for the first time in a local congregation that deals with young mothers in trouble.
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