December 24, 2023

I got stuck miles away in a small village and had no public transport.
There was a public holiday so I had to stay put.
A family put me up for the night and fed me! This was an annunciation for me!

Annunciations announce the coming of the Lord, favour from God.
Life is full of little and big annunciations. Ways in which we bring the Son of God alive within the world. The beginning now of what would later be the resurrection event.

For Mary it was in the ordinary – maybe at the well, as she collected the water for the day. Or in her house. Any time we find genuine help, compassion, justice, all the gifts of God’s Spirit, then this is annunciation. It can be an annunciation of new faith and love in God. What Mary got at annunciation was the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit and the Son of God in her womb.

We are the people who find grace and hope in the middle of everything. Maybe like in a busy shop, the middle of a bus journey, and with the children and the friends and the family, at Mass or prayer. It can happen anywhere.

There is always a response. If we have been gifted, we give. Someone let me out of the carpark and I let the next person out. Someone visited me in hospital and I did the same later. Our Christmas way of celebration and helping others is a response.

Don’t ask how did you get over the Christmas, but did Christmas get into you! Let the big mystery of God’s love get deeply into us this time of year.

Remember when you felt close to God’s presence
in your life and give thanks.
Welcome, Lord Jesus.

Fr Donal Neary, S.J.