Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent: Becoming a Worthy Vessel of the Coming Christ

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  I figured it would be a good day to continue the series on learning from Mary how to wait for Jesus.  We hear in the Gospel the Annunciation.

It was here at the Annunciation, the Church understands, that Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary (this is not the Immaculate Conception, mind you.  The Immaculate Conception was Mary being conceived in the womb of Anne).  The Holy Spirit came upon her and overshadowed her.  She became a virgin mother.  This image of a virgin mother is very important in her waiting. 

If we look in the Old Testament, Israel was seen to be the spotless bride of God.  She was his beautiful and magnificent bride adorned with costly jewels and fragrant perfume.  We hear in the prophets, especially Hosea and Isaiah, how Israel prostituted herself to other gods.  Idolatry was connected with adultery.  Here we have Mary, a virgin mother, who is singularly devoted to God.  She is “his handmaiden," (Lk. :38).  Her singular focus to God prepared her to receive Christ in her womb.  No other god was before her.  She was His alone.  She was not divided or distracted.  She was ready to give herself as the Bride of the Holy Spirit.

Where is our focus?  Do we solicit ourselves to things, worshipping our car, or our computer, or our smartphone?  Do we prostitute ourselves out to false ideas like Communism, which denies the dignity of each individual or an unchecked free market that canonizes greed?  Do we set ourselves up to be worshipped, trying to direct all attention toward ourselves while neglecting the needs of others?  No longer are pagan gods the objects of idolatry, like they were in Israel.  The aforementioned things are our modern day ‘gods.’  Our focus and singular devotion, should be like Mary, on God alone.  Advent is a time we can rid ourselves of these idolatries and be singularly focused on making our house ready for the coming of our king, preparing the womb of our hearts.  Confession provides us with an opportunity to start anew, alive with God’s grace and His indwelling.  After confession, He dwells in a more worthy vessel.  If we could only mirror the vessel that Mary provided for Him!

No comments: