December 19th Christmas Midnight Mass

Sunday Week 4 of Advent B

Print Version December 21st, 2002

Why here, why now, and why Mary? … I wonder…
Maybe, in part, because God has a liking for the edge of nowhere, with the poor, the barren, and the lowly. Maybe that’s why God dodges the palace, dodges the emperors’ city, dodges the learned and the rich and all the mighty in any way. But of all the poor, of all the hungry, all the empty why Mary? Why this particular young girl? That’s what I wonder …
I wonder if what is special about her is just one simple thing: maybe it’s just that she noticed when Gabriel came calling. You see, I wonder whether there aren’t annunciations everyday, in every place, in every century. I wonder if angels haven’t been introducing themselves since Eve, since Adam. “Hail Sarah!” Nothing! “Hail Beatrice!” Perhaps a glimmer! “Hail Kylie!” Silence. But, “Hail Mary …” Wow, a response! “Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you”. Mary actually hears. She notices the unnoticeable angel’s voice. …
I wonder whether Gabriel and his ilk aren’t hurrying angel-wise even now, even here, eyes full of messages simple as sunlight. And I wonder whether I’m missing them—whether they pass me by, no more than a queasy plunge in the pit of my stomach, no more than a shiver of significance twisting down my spine, no more than a burden of joy briefly shouldered and just as swiftly shelved.
Are there frustrated angels with us even now, even here, brushing by on feathered feet, breathing benedictions, and aching for imagination to shape their mystery into message and give them voice. For I imagine them mute—mute and barely visible—until a human heart discerns them, fashions them flesh, and offers them speech.
Are they here now, heartfelt and eager and pregnant with possibility? For the one who was born, an age or two ago, of a young Mary’s “yes” they still bear in urgent arms to be born again in you or in me—that same child of God who might change the world. Might change the world, might lift up the lowly, might visit us with peace—if only we, like she, have a vulnerable heart, an imagination full of hope, and the humble courage to consent.

Entry Filed under: Homilies,Loyola Hall


December 2002
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