Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10; Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38
Two Fridays ago, Good Friday fell on 25 March, the calendar date for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Incarnation. That doesn’t happen often but it does occur predictably. Perhaps it even happens appropriately because the mystery of the Incarnation seems to come full circle. It was fulfilling itself in a death that could only occur to the Son of God when he had truly become human. In the same way, the hope of the resurrection could only be offered us when our humanity was taken into his divinity.
It was probably no accident of the calendar that our Holy Week celebrations were poised between the terrorist attack in Brussels and that in Lahore. I don’t refer to the terrorists’ strategy to strike during the Christian Feast of feasts. I mean that mysterious unfolding of human history within the embrace of God’s on-going revelation and continuous salvation of our race.
I certainly can’t justify the horrific events on that basis–God forbid I should try! They just enfold one another. The one surfaces the malicious brutality of what happened to Jesus and the other–God’s embrace–challenges me to keep hoping.
I’m reminded that the girl who trusted the message of the angel is the widow watching her Son perish, still pondering in her heart that his kingdom would have no end. She kept all those things in her heart for over three decades and against all odds.
When you dedicate your life to that fragile Incarnation, you don’t understand; yanked pout of conventional expectations, perhaps it’s much less important to understand and much more important to ponder what unfolds. Perhaps it’s essential to re-collect the pieces and, like a jigsaw puzzle, join them, now this way, now that, until they fit.
I won’t get an explanation that way; I’ll end up with an image, a vision–a vision I can live from.
Might it not be fair to say that the Incarnation is not just something that happened to Jesus, but is unfolding in all of us? Have I even begun to inhabit my God-given life?