This painting is called The Annunciation by Henry Tanner and is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It depicts Mary’s encounter with the Angel Gabriel when she was told that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Promised Messiah – Jesus.
The bewildered expression on her face captures one’s imagination. What is she thinking; how is she feeling? The Scripture passage, which this scene depicts, is from the Gospel of Luke 1:26 – 38. It ends with Mary ultimately assenting to God’s plan by saying, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” This is what we traditionally call Mary’s “Yes” to God. The Lord doesn’t force himself on us, but rather invites us into an encounter with him. We can say, yes, or no, to his invitation. Mary is an example of someone who took a leap of faith and allowed God to lead her on a path she never imagined. We know how the rest of the story unfolds for her. It wasn’t easy and there were many challenges, but blessings abounded in her life for having said yes. Think about the invitation the Lord is inviting you to accept. It will be unique to your own personal circumstances. Listen, reflect, be open and trust that the Lord will do great things in you and through you, if you only let him. During Advent we reflect upon the events which led up to the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Our parish will offer an opportunity for you to enter into the Annunciation experience of Mary with a Guided Meditation, also known as Imaginative Prayer. This prayer form was developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It engages the imagination and invites us to become immersed in the Scripture passage it unfolds for us. It’s an opportunity to let the Holy Spirit work within us as we reflect upon the many aspects of the scene. Allowing our senses, feelings and imagination be engaged in this way will be a means by which God will communicate with you in a way you may have never experienced. Take advantage of what we will offer on the weekend of December 10/11 right after each weekend Mass and see what blessings the Lord has in store for you.
God bless you!
Fr. BobBACK TO LIST