During the Advent time we can look at the wonderful pictures of the annunciation that have been painted throughout the ages. They depict the angel, approaching Mary, holding a white lily, announcing to her that she will bear a child. Christ will be born – in her, and ultimately in us, in the world.
Strangely though, for all the joy that the message carries, for all its vital importance for life on earth, the first words that the angel speaks after the initial greeting are:
“Have no fear, Mary.”
And Mary’s reaction to the wonderful but for human ears incomprehensible news that the angel brings:
“How will this be…?”
How often do we stand uncomprehending and with fear before the things life has to offer. Often it does not even matter if this offering is perceived as good or bad, negative or positive. It means change and it fills us with apprehension. How often do we stand, like Mary, before the powers that lead our destinies, thinking:
“How can this be?” or “How will this be?”
We have to admit that we don’t understand the twists and turns of our destinies. We don’t understand how the grand picture of all our lives can be put together. We don’t even truly understand ourselves. Where do we come from and where are we going? We may stand helpless and powerless before our human destinies.
And still, we find our way into the future if we find in us the strength to go through to what lies beyond. Much like someone who was underwater, disoriented and unable to breathe breaks through to the surface.
In finding that strength we find, in us, the strength of HIM whom the angel announces to us. In finding in us the power to break through, to overcome, we find in us the Christ.
This is who he is – the light in the darkness – the overcomer of death – the resurrected one in each and every one of us.
This contemplation is by Rev. Contreras and inspired by Luke 2, The Annunciation.