The annunciation is the moment Mary was visited by Gabriel, the archangel, “announcing” the joyful news of Christ’s birth. This scene has been depicted in so many ways over the centuries, making it one of the most artistically expressed biblical scenes. One stands out in my estimation by, I believe, an African American artist. Mary is not depicted in the usual way, bowing in submission to Gabriel, surrendering to the message. In this portrait, Mary is sitting on her ruffled up bed, slumped over, looking perplexed. A light is shining through a window-like opening in the wall , symbolizing Gabriel, illuminating a pondering Mary.
God enters our lives unexpectedly, frequently in the guise of human angels, announcing that we are to give birth to the Kingdom at that very moment. It might be a smile, an act of charity, a prayer for a stranger, speaking the truth in a compassionate manner, seeing Christ in a discarded human being or one who seems “foreign.”
Mary gave birth to Christ; each one of us is called to do the same. Each and everyday is “pregnant ” with possibilities of birthing Christ. The annunciation is an everyday mystery waiting for you to just notice. Better yet: perhaps God is calling YOU to be a human angel “announcing” Good News to someone who so desperately needs a message from God…through you.
Peace. Fr. Frank
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