The Mass reading on Friday was a one-two punch describing the glory of Christ’s kingship in a vision of the prophet Daniel.
“As I watched, Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was snow bright, and the hair on his head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him.”
Overnight, we go from the bombast of the Last Things to something secret and quiet; from overwhelming awe at the King of Kings to anticipating the birth of a baby who came to us last March as a zygote in the womb of an obscure virgin in Palestine.
The God of surprises? Our God always dishes out reality in a way that outstrips our finite understanding and speaks directly to our hearts—because our hearts are capable of experiencing the infinite: God’s love. We have a longing to understand and love the truth, but Truth always leads us beyond our intellectual grasp and leaves us—in wonder.
These are the Christian Mysteries that keep us in wonder of the God who created everything from nothing and keeps us in being by his love every second. We begin today to ponder the mystery of the fetus who himself is the Author of Life.
Mary’s “yes” at the Annunciation welcomed the King of Creation into her heart, into her womb, into the nation of Israel, into the human race—Mary’s “yes” welcomed the God of Eternity into time, that he might show us the way to his eternity.
Zygote-King, Shepherd-Master, God-Man. In union with Mary, we anticipate your birth and ponder the power of calling you—a newborn shivering in a manger—our destiny, our glory, and our brother, come Christmas Eve. Jesus, make our waiting, like that of Israel, like that of Mary, bear abundant fruit for your Kingdom.