Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
I woke up at 5am today in a panic. My thought: Only two weeks left (in Lent). Its not enough time. Tears actually formed in my eyes. Immediately my mind started darting here and there like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Transformation…is it a race? Am I under a deadline?
In a way, I am. St. John’s words haunt me: “Oh souls created for this greatness and summoned to it–what are you doing?! ” (The Spiritual Canticle) The urgency feels like that of a lover who has waited for a year for her beloved to return from a journey. Finally the day has arrived and the last hour is the most unbearable.
Its hard to make myself intelligible. Only images come to my mind. Lines from literature…scenes from movies. Remember the last scene in “When Harry Met Sally?” Harry has finally come to his senses and realizes that he is in love with Sally. He runs through the streets of New York to get to the New Year’s Eve party to find Sally. When he finally reaches her, he rambles for a bit and then says: I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
That is exactly it. I am tired of what doesn’t work. I want to be made well. I want wholeness and freedom. I want to be unbound. I want the rest of my life to start as soon as possible. And even though my soul is quaking with fear at the thought that that may not be possible, God comforts me with the words of scripture from today’s readings. Once again an angel reminds me: nothing will be impossible for God.
Complete transformation in two weeks??? Maybe…maybe not…may be not necessary because no matter, what I trust…no, I cling to the promise that Emmanuel…God is with me.
And this…a poem by Anne Carson
Town of finding out about the love of God
I had made a mistake.
before this day.
Now my suitcase is ready.
Two hard-boiled eggs.
For the journey are stored.
In places where.
My eyes were.
How could it be otherwise?
Like a current.
Carrying a twig.
The sobbing made me.
Audible to you.