As our Advent journey continues toward Bethlehem, we pilgrimage on with anticipation. I thought long and hard on the perfect word for “walk” toward Bethlehem this week. Was I trumping, trudging, certainly not always skipping, what was I doing? After some research, I decided I am truly pilgrimaging toward Bethlehem in anticipation this last week of Advent. I learned pilgrimage means traveling into an unknown or foreign land, where a person is in search of new or expanding meaning about themselves through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation after they return to their daily lives. Well, isn’t that our hope since we started on this journey toward Bethlehem?
I have several thoughts this week. Both ideas came from listening to daily Mass. One homily centered around Christ loves each one of us so much he was willing to give up his Heavenly throne to come to a stinky, dirty, little stable where he had no bed except for a feeding trough. It was and still is the only time when
Deity became humanity,
Royalty came into poverty and
Eternity stepped into time.
And I wonder why. We as humans can truly be a sorry lot. And still Jesus Christ gave up everything so we could live Him forever. The Love, God must have for each one of us is beyond comprehension.
I can’t imagine the anticipation, Mary must have experienced but the difference between me and Mary is, I am much better at the, “Yea but, God,” response. In today’s Gospel we hear her response to the angel Gabriel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord,” said Mary, “let what you have said be done to me.” Luke 1 vs 38.
In another homily, I learned about an American artist, Henry Ossawa Tanner (June 21, 1859 – May 25, 1937). His work is beautiful and I long to learn more about him. One of his painting is entitled: The Annunciation. Looking at it there is a shaft of light being the angel of God and a tiny bit a candle over Mary’s shoulder waiting to shine bright as God’s light pours on to Mary. Check out the link below to learn more.
As we pilgrimage toward Bethlehem during this last week of Advent my prayer is, we may seek and bathe in the light of God and relish every moment of this joyous season, celebrating the birth of our Lord.