25 March, Solemnity of the Annunciation: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10; Hebrews 10: 4-10; Luke 1:26-38
I can easily believe that by human reason or observation of the world around us, any of us could arrive at a concept of God. I’m not so convinced that I can conceive a vibrant relationship with the living God without some help, without some parenting. And I suspect it’s the mother who plays a very important role here, given the physical, emotional and psychological bonding—positive or negative—from conception through infancy.
How much is this bond the foundation of my sense of God, the “flavor,” so to speak, of my desire for God? Don’t we know children of a negligent or unloving mother, whose image of God is blighted OR whose adherence to God’s love and provident care compensates that lack? I doubt that there’s any simplistic formula characterizing the conception of our relationship to God, but I would imagine that there are as many paths as there are mothers and children.
But this describes becoming a mother of God in a purely metaphorical sense.
The scandal of the Gospel is that we profess, in a very concrete and visceral sense, that a particular woman becomes the Mother of God. We celebrate a young woman, so transparent and receptive, so concrete and free of conceptual abstractions in her relation to God, that from her own body, her own fertility, she conceives that compassionate Divinity as an apprehensible human being.
And not just centuries ago. Because eternal God, in her, touches contingent humanity, doesn’t this generation continue in an eternal present, active and effective in our own dreary times? Isn’t it this Presence that continues to give us hope, give us the motivation and desire to make our way to that divine horizon?