I couldn’t help but notice that angels played key roles in both of the readings for today. Both were announcing births, and both chose to deliver their message to the mothers of these children. Seems a little odd that in the patriarchal cultures in which Samson’s mother (she’s not even named in the reading!) and then Mary lived, that the stories tell of God’s messenger appearing directly to them rather than through their husbands or fathers. I’m not a scripture scholar, but it seems that this might have some significance.
Then I got to asking myself, how does God’s message come to me? Am I open to it when the messenger may not be who I would expect? I really encourage you to read Ryan Duns, SJ’s post from Sunday…here’s an excerpt:
The season of Advent intends to prepare us for the coming of Emmanuel, for “God with us.” This is not a one-day-per-year event: God is still with us, still being revealed in our day-to-day lives. We meet this God in the utter potentiality and promise of newborn babies, in the boundless enthusiasm of youth, and in the wisdom of our elderly. But as Christians, we know that our faith is messy, that it we are disciples of the crucified one…and this God, the God of the broken and maimed, we still encounter. Pierced not by nails but by track marks from drugs, scourged not with whips but with harsh words, abandoned not by disciples but by society, labeled not “traitor” but “problem”, the presence of the crucified poor, particularly the homeless, bespeaks the silent voice of God. We need not look far to see this face of Christ, the despised and broken Lord who continues to call us into service.
What a powerful and challenging Advent reflection. Thank you, Ryan!