“My soul proclaims the goodness of the Lord; My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” – Luke 1:46-47
The Visitation is one of my favorite scenes in Scripture. Mary is with her cousin Elizabeth and they are celebrating their most unlikely pregnancies.
This time of year, we are inundated with Christmas miracle stories from George Bailey to Charlie Brown and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. – and so so so many more. But, the older I get, the easier it is to say that it is all saccharine and make believe.
The story in today’s Gospel, of a young girl and an older woman are not bound by what must be but, rather, on what may be! According to Luke, their sons, John and Jesus, will change the world, and nothing will be the same. But is that true, or is it just another vapid Christmas special?
Well, a life of faith is not at all vapid or saccharin or make believe, and it is full of miracles. The key, however, is accepting the imagination of faith, specifically believing that God works with the world, not despite it. Mary and Elizabeth are real women, really pregnant and really dealing with all the joys and hopes and the grief and anguish that their lives have. They march forward, confident in their Lord.
That is the essence of Advent – to help us strengthen our imagination of faith and belief that the ultimate miracle – God sharing with us our human essence – is real.
You know maybe I’m a little hard on George, Chuck, Rudolph and all the other characters that offer hope of new beginnings and limitless possibilities. It seems they are just paying homage to the Gospel writers, the original writers of such things.
Lord, please open my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to believe what many can’t, won’t, or don’t!
Deacon Kevin McCormack
To view the full Advent 2021 booklet in English, click here.
For Spanish, click here.
For French, click here.