4 Advent – Year B

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 (or Luke 1:46-55); Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

“It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.” – Voltaire

Mary is the patron saint of unwed mothers. She who was declared “favored one” (Luke 1:28) was despised in her day because of her pregnancy. Pregnancy is a jarring forecast of the unfamiliar mysterious future (amniocentesis and sonograms aside). What will be? What will we do now? We do not like the unknown; so we crave convention. Mary enters the unknown unconventionally. Mary, the favored one, the despised, calls us to the risk of pregnancy, to join her in pregnancy. To answer the call we also need to be favored. We are. The angel Gabriel declares us so. His words to Mary are for us also. We are not favored because we are so sparkly perfect. Just as we are, we are just right for God’s gratuitous grace (see Greek below). The angel Gabriel declares us pregnant. How long will it take us to give birth? God has implanted, seeded, in each of us his/her seed for the future. Every birth is different, unique. God knows what is distinctive in each woman and man. That is what must be born from within us with no concern for what others mock. The world was never transformed by those wedded to convention. We may have to stand differently. Let us be unwed fathers and mothers. Let each of us say: Let it be to me according to your word (Luke 1:38).

Greek

                The word here translated “favor” is the exact same word in Greek used elsewhere for “grace.” It is clear, especially in Paul’s theology that grace is a free gift, not earned. Therefore, in light of this, God’s favor is a free gift, grace.

Gabriel says the child is to be named “Jesus.” (Luke 1:31) In Aramaic, the language Mary and Jesus spoke, this would be “Yeshua,” in English Joshua. This was a common name, as today like Bob or Bill.

Haiku

Whence from comes this seed?

Holy impregnating Spirit!

Let us “fiat” shout!

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