Thursday, December 08, 2016

Nothing Is Impossible for God

By Beth DeCristofaro
Annunciation (Detail), Caravaggio, 1608 

The man called his wife Eve because she became the mother of all the living. (Genesis 3:20)

In love, he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.  (Ephesians 1:4-6)

(and the Angel continued) … nothing will be impossible for God. (Luke 1:37)

“Ave Maria”
(Franz Schubert and Andre Boccelli)
Ave Maria
Gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena

Ave, ave dominus
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in muli eribus
Et benedictus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tuae, Jesus
Ave Maria

Ave Maria
Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Ora pro nobis
Ora, ora pro nobis peccatoribus

Nunc et in hora mortis
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Ave Maria

Except for the ones which yield tasteless chocolate, I love Advent Calendars!  There are so many doors and windows that tempt one to peek ahead.  I had calendars that were so worn that the doors no longer shut and I knew in advance that day 14 hid a wooden rocking horse.  Now there are electronic Advent Calendars.  My mom and I have had fun “creating” a stained-glass window in a Victorian-themed calendar.

Mary of Nazareth opened an Advent Calendar window in which she is both the revealed and she reveals.  She reveals what a life rooted in faith can look like.  She is revealed as fruitful holiness allowing divinity to become humanity.  This window doesn’t give her a toy or candy, it gives her a choice.  It unlocks Advent windows for every person, windows of adoption, salvation, resurrection, peace, community. 

For Mary, in the moment, however, it must have seemed confusing.  After the angel departs her, Mary immediately set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  Perhaps she struggled still with the question “how can this be?”   Perhaps she wanted to see for herself that elderly Elizabeth is indeed with child.  Perhaps she sought comfort with a beloved, female confident.  Perhaps she realized on a deep level that not only her world but the world she has known was now different and she wanted the safety and stability of the known, the strong, the loyal.   Perhaps she needed to share her story with people of faith who would be her support.

Most certainly opening that window opened her soul and filled her with the sure knowledge – the graced presence - that nothing will be impossible for God.

Every day can bring Advent opportunities to open windows of preparation in our continuing journey of growing closer to Christ.  What is this day offering you?  Who are you bringing with you through that window?  What impossibilities will you turn over to God for nothing will be impossible for God

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