Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
She offered a precursor to the She offered a precursor to the modern day phrase, “God is good, all the time, God is good.”
During Advent, which means coming, we have listened to the voice of the prophets, meditated on the messianic message from Gabriel and marked the weeks with colored candles. With the youngest children we are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus who has come. The older children begin to gain a broader understanding of the season. Advent not only prepares to celebrate the coming of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem at the first Christmas, it also anticipates His second coming at the Parousia, when God will be all in all and it reminds us that Jesus comes to us daily in His Word and in the Sacraments. Considering this realization, Joe, an older child in the Atrium of the Parousia remarked, “It’s just like the Mystery of Faith—Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. Past, present and future are all held together.”
This is the heart of the Mystery of the Incarnation; two worlds, the ordinary and the extraordinary, come together and become fused in the Child of Bethlehem. Christmas celebrates the birth of a child who was born and lived a human existence, a child much like the children in the atria. Yet Elizabeth called Mary, “mother of my Lord” and the child is called the “Son of the Most High” whose birth will “will be a joy to all nations” and who is “Christ the Lord.”
Using the language of the Bible in this way and drawing the children to see the grandeur of the event, opens the door to wonder. This great event is not merely something that happened in the past. The children are assisted to enter into this event in the here and now. Together, adult and child wonder, “Who is this Child?” Stressing the greatness of the Incarnation in this way increases awareness of its presence in our own lives.
Anna Hurdle, Director of Children’s Formation