reconciling things

“Allow it all to happen: beauty and terror…” Rilke

Today is the best day of the year. It’s not a holy day of obligation and some theologian or clergy needs to sufficiently explain to me why. Nevertheless, it is the best day of the year.

It’s the day of the Annunciation. The very day the Word took on flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. She is the Theotokos—the One Who Bears God. This is the day every Christian has a pop quiz: Is Mary the Mother of God? Because Jesus. One Divine Person with two hypostatically united natures. He is both man and divine—united in one individual existence. This is glorious and takes place in the womb of the One Who Bears God.

This day changed everything. Mary’s yes, God in flesh, life from the moment the Holy Spirit entered her womb, the Creator of everything in whom and through whom all things exist, self-limited willingly to the womb of a woman and expanded all creation, offering us the possibility of theosis, that is a participation in the divine nature. We can now aim at God and be made into him.

This day is too big for my heart. It makes me want to laugh, weep, and dance, all at once. I am in utter awe that God entered Our Lady and she carried him.

But, wait….I am no theologian…(I’d rather be a mystic anyway)…just hear me out….

Maybe this is a marvelous thing God has done to show us what he can do in all creation. Maybe the Theotokos is the first fruit to show us what is possible. Maybe it is one beautiful chain: Mary carried God —-> Jesus is the hypostatic union of man and divine in one individual existence —> Jesus gives himself to us in the Eucharist —-> when we receive the Eucharist, we get to, for a moment in time, carry Christ within us and have our created being expand to hold the whole of everything that is good.

Today, the most important day of the year, shows us a glimpse of the full redemption that is to come and a preview of the Blessed Sacrament (the source and summit of our faith!) that we get to bear within us. The Theotokos shows us how.

“From God who exists before all eternity took flesh and became a little Child. He has taken your womb as His throne, making it more spacious than the Heavens! Therefore, O full of grace, in you all creation rejoices!” (From the St. Basil the Great Byzantine Liturgy)

Today we will play Christmas music, eat waffles, go to Mass, and feel all the Christmas cheer that comes with knowing that today we remember the redemption of the world through a mighty act of surrender. A fiat.

If Our Lady’s fiat could change the whole world, maybe my fiat can change at least mine. Today is a day when all things are possible.

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