One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

December 20, 2008

For Advent on December 20

Luke 1:26-38

The word ANGEL means MESSENGER.
God sent a MESSENGER to the Virgin Mary.
The name of God’s MESSENGER was “Gabriel”— which means POWER OF GOD.
Part of God’s MESSAGE for the Virgin Mary was that the POWER of God’s Holy Spirit would come to overshadow Mary so that she— a VIRGIN— would conceive the holy Son of God.
As a MESSENGER, Gabriel is the spokesman of God’s WORD and the spokesman of God’s POWER.
The Word— God the Son!
The Power— God the Holy Spirit!
Shadowed from above, the Virgin Mary received the Power that is God the Holy Spirit.
Made fruitful from within, the Virgin Mary conceived the Word that is God the Son.
If this were to have been a blunt and overwhelming divine imposition, the angel ought to have spoken his message as a command to the Virgin Mary, and just left her.
Instead, the angel did not leave until after Mary chose to say, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
It was quite different with Joseph of the house of David.
An angel spoke to Joseph always when he was asleep and unable to speak.
To sleeping Joseph, the angel always issued commands— which, nonetheless, Joseph always chose to obey once he awakened.
With the Virgin Mary, the angel offered possibilities, and waited for her to speak her choice.
Both Mary and Joseph show us how to celebrate the Word of God and the Power of God— how to celebrate God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in our lives.
At times God will give us commands, and at times he will give us possibilities.
Either way, he leaves us with the choice to obey.
What happens when we obey God’s Word and God’s Power?
The answer is in the message of Gabriel.
When we choose to obey God’s Word and God’s Power, then salvation is conceived and enthroned within us so that we give birth to holiness itself.
The same possibilities and the same commands— the Spirit of God and the Word of God— overshadow and fill us in the Eucharistic Flesh and Blood of Christ.
Shall we choose to obey?
If not, the Eucharist will find no room at the inn, and a stable would serve better than our hands and mouths.

That God Be Glorified in All