Sunday, December 13, 2009

Advent and Mary (to be cont’d)

The LD has reminded the meaning of Advent: hopeful expectation of the heavenly King to come, born of an earthly woman to liberate mankind from the power of the diabolon, the divisive one, who holds all men and women in fetters, prisoners of that concern about themselves that makes them incapable of communicating in peace and justice.

In our democratic society we are not used to take this Christian talk of kingship (in spite of the last Sunday before Advent) seriously. The only one to my knowledge who did it was the second President of the USA, John Adams; and he run into trouble because of it, being judged unworthy of a scrap of monument in Washington, he, the son of a yeoman from Massachusetts, over against the great one deserved by the true democrat slaveholder from Virginia.

At best we take this king talk as a kind of metaphor drawn from worldly political reality to express something religious. Even metaphors, however, don't work if we don't grant any reality to the image that is vehicle for us of further meanings. But it is not a metaphor that a young woman gave birth to a child to be named Jesus, later proclaimed the Christ (the anointed one, as ancient Israel's kings were) by people who perceived him as the bearer of reconciliation among men, made participant of the caritas that Deus est.

In short, they perceived in him the beginning of a new kingdom of peace and justice.

The beginning: that is the problem. Therefore the LD rightly reminded that Advent is a time of spiritual warfare: of a resolve toward an always new birth of the king by which the kingdom can grow.

The place where the war is decided is a woman's womb.

Let's read Mary's great hymn of praise in the gospel of s. Luke known a Magnificat (Douay-Rheims translation).

My soul doth magnify the Lord.

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid;

for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Because he that is mighty,

hath done great things to me;

and holy is his name.

And his mercy is from generation unto generations,

to them that fear him.

He hath shewed might in his arm:

he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat,

and hath exalted the humble.

He hath filled the hungry with good things;

and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He hath received Israel his servant,

being mindful of his mercy:

As he spoke to our fathers,

to Abraham and to his seed for ever.



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