Sunday, 18 December 2011

Verbum caro hic factum est

Nazareth the place is not up to much. The modern basilica sits near the middle of the, well, basically average town. The courtyard is lined with representations of Our Lady from many countries of the world, including Wales. On entering the huge church, you notice a large gap in front of the main altar, where you can look down to the level of the earlier churches that have stood on this spot. At a modern altar down there I have been privileged to celebrate Mass four times, just a few feet from the actual grotto which traditionally marks the place of the Annunciation. There you find a much smaller altar, and on the front a brief inscription in Latin:
Word for word: "The Word flesh here became" = "The Word here became flesh". That all-important litte word "hic" telling you that here, or hereabouts, the eternal Word of God became united with one human life, that God the Creator entered his own creation. Here, in this quiet backwater, then as now, Mary gave her accord...
Just think... No Annunciation would mean no Christmas. Just like no Gethsemane would mean no Calvary or Easter Tomb. These are the Places of Decision, where the "No!" of Eve and of Adam are reversed by the "Yes!" of Mary and her Son. Yes, God, yes! Yes to your plan, your desire, your way, your Word. In one word : "Amen!"

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