Advent: allowing ourselves to be bathed in the light of heaven

A lit candle on a wreath for the first Sunday of Advent is seen in this illustration.  The wreath, which holds four candles, is a major symbol of the Christmas season, when a new candle is lit every Sunday before Christmas.  Advent, the season of joyful expectations, begins on November 27, 2022. A lit candle on a wreath for the primary Sunday of Introduction is seen on this illustration. The wreath, which holds 4 candles, is a significant image of the Christmas season, when a brand new candle is lit each Sunday earlier than Christmas. Introduction, the season of joyful expectations, begins November 27, 2022 (CNS picture by Gregory A. Schimets)

I like the songs that accompany us throughout the Introduction season. The time period I hear used typically for them is “painful”.

A few of them are performed in minor keys, which fills them with a particular thriller, a particular type of longing. I feel ‘haunting’ is an apt phrase as a result of the primary use of ‘hang-out’ means ‘a spot regularly visited’ within the type of the noun and ‘to apply habitually…take part therein’.

There’s a sense of coming house, to the origins of our religion, to ourselves.

One music that speaks particularly to the origins of our story as Christians is taken from an outdated Basque hymn, “The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Got here.”

I keep in mind the primary time I heard this music throughout an Introduction occasion in our church as a baby, and it was already haunting, a spot I needed to inhabit, a spot I nonetheless typically come again in my reminiscence.

In “The Angel Gabriel Got here from Heaven,” poetry, like a gilded thread, is intertwined with the eager for the approaching of the Messiah.

The hymn focuses on the Annunciation, the second when Gabriel greets Mary and calls her to turn out to be the Mom of God. Within the first verse, it’s launched in obscure however vivid phrases:

The angel Gabriel got here from heaven, his wings like drifting snow, his eyes like flames; / Hail, humble Virgin Mary, / Most Favored Woman, Gloria!

Listening to his wings described as “drifting snow” makes me consider a larger-than-life creature, extremely wonderful, but in addition one that’s not “tame” within the Narnian sense of the phrase.

The juxtaposition of chilly and warmth, and the depth of the sunshine from each the snow and the flames intensify the distinction between Gabriel and the “Virgin Mary,” who’s, by God’s secret, the favorite.

“Most Favored Woman” is repeated as the ultimate line all through all 4 verses of this music, which takes us by means of Gabriel’s message, Mary’s gravity after which into our personal time. Marie sure God’s imaginative and prescient of carrying and enduring those that got here to redeem all mankind is price considering:

Then the mild Mary meekly bowed her head, / “Let or not it’s that which is pleasant to God,” mentioned she, “my soul praises and magnifies his holy identify.” / Most Favourite Woman, Gloria!

Mary’s command offers us a non secular gentle by means of which we are able to see the glory of getting ready a spot for Him. At this second, she agrees to bear “the sunshine that shines within the darkness,” of which we are able to say “and the darkness didn’t overcome him” (John 1:5).

Mary bathes within the gentle of Gabriel’s heavenly presence, making her amplify her, promising to make for us the best “the true gentle, which … was coming into the world” (Jn 1, 9).

From this haunting hymn comes the supreme fact—God makes Mary his house, and he or she in flip intimately shares his life in her.

As we enter this season of Introduction, we’re referred to as to rediscover our true house—in Christ, the One who needs to make His house in all of our hearts. In a world the place hope is usually a treasured gentle to which our eyes should accustom ourselves, the reality contained within the final verse of this hymn burns like an outdated star:

“Born of her, Emmanuel, Christ, / In Bethlehem, all on Christmas morning, / And Christians everywhere in the world will say / ‘Most Favored Woman,’ Gloria!”

Maybe we can’t absolutely comprehend the large illumination contained within the Annunciation—the just about astonishing brilliance of Gabriel and the deeply infected Coronary heart of the Virgin—however this hymn testifies to the truth that we’re all referred to as, like Mary, “to reward and amplify His holy identify.”

We honor the Most Favored Woman who needs to guide us into the brilliant gentle of Christmas by bringing Christ our gentle into the world.

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(Known as a contract poet and author).

tags: advent


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