Monday, December 28, 2009

Luke 1:26-32, 38, 48 Love Beyond All Telling

Luke 1:26-32, 38, 48 Love Beyond All Telling

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;


“The virgin mother bore him in her womb with love beyond all telling.”
Unquestionably it is my favorite sentence prayed during the season of Advent, and it has provided the inspiration for these reflections. Advent attends to two important figures in salvation history:

Mary and Jesus. Its spirituality centers upon the faith and courage of a young woman who opened wide the doors of her life to the invitation of God, welcomed the Word into her heart, nourished that Word “with love beyond all telling”—and then gave birth to the incarnate Word of God, Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, what Mary bore with love beyond all telling, was in fact divine love beyond all telling.

We can only wonder what Mary experienced as she accepted the invitation of God and agreed to bear God’s son with a love beyond all telling. With a single “yes,” she went from maiden to mother. Such a transition might have been a source of confusion when, having placed her life at God’s disposal, she discovered people gossiping about her and Joseph, her fiancĂ©, considering divorce.

As we journey together this Advent with the Word of God, let us do what Mary has done: offer hospitality in our hearts to the Word, contemplate it amidst our daily comings and goings, and nurture it with love beyond all telling. And then, come Christmas Day, let us go tell it on the mountain that God’s love beyond all telling has taken on flesh in Jesus of Nazareth.

Source: Daily Reflections for Advent 2006
Love Beyond All Telling – by Albert Haase, O.F.M.

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