First Sunday of Advent: We are called, like Mary, to "praise and glorify His Most Holy Name"

First Sunday of Advent: We are called, like Mary, to “praise and glorify His Most Holy Name”

Annunciation of Jan van Eyck, 1434-1436; Nationwide Gallery of Artwork, Washington for portray; Oil on canvas transferred from a portray. (Wikimedia Commons, within the public area)

I really 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 often visited’ within the type of the noun and ‘to follow habitually…take part therein’.

There’s a sense of coming dwelling, 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 previous Basque hymn, “The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Got here.”

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

in The angel Gabriel came from heaven. Poetry, like a gilded thread, is intertwined with eager for the approaching of Christ.

The hymn focuses on the Annunciation, the second when Gabriel greets Mary and calls her to grow 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 isn’t “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 way of Gabriel’s message, Mary’s gravity after which into our personal time. Mary’s grace to see God in carrying and enduring those that got here to redeem all mankind is value considering:

Then the light Mary meekly bowed her head, / “Let it’s that which is agreeable to God,” mentioned she, “my soul praises and magnifies his holy identify.” / Most Favourite Woman, Gloria!

Mary’s command provides us a non secular gentle by way 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 reality—God makes Mary his dwelling, and he or she in flip intimately shares his life in her.

As we enter this season of Introduction, we’re known as to rediscover our true dwelling—in Christ, the One who wishes to make His dwelling in all of our hearts. In a world the place hope is usually a valuable gentle to which our eyes should accustom ourselves, the reality contained within the final verse of this hymn burns like an previous 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 totally 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 known as, like Mary, “to reward and amplify His holy identify.”

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

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(Known as a contract poet and author).

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