This is the event that changed all of human history.
Before the birth of Christ people knew that God existed, but the sense was that God lived at a distance from the earth, in the heavens, communicating through cosmic signs, weather events, storms, floods, rainbows and earthquakes wind and fire.
Periodically the holy person would climb the mountain (since mountain-tops were closer to heaven) and communicate with God on behalf of the people, bringing any word from God back down to the people.
The prevailing sense among believers that God was to be pleased and appeased through obedience to the law, and sacrifice.
The events reported in today’s gospel readings changed this direction. While we may still search for God, the new divine method is about a God who not only searches for us, but who comes to us in flesh and blood in the here and now, in the routine, mundane and demanding events of daily life.
I like the way that the angel communicated with Joseph most clearly when Joseph was sleeping. Joseph was doing nothing, just sleeping, yet he woke with a clear sense of what he was to do.
- I am sure that the night after hearing from Mary that she was pregnant with the child of the Holy Spirit, Joseph would have gone to bed in turmoil, yet he woke with clear direction and new energy.
- Throughout today. become aware of any way that you may be struggling to know where God is present and active in your life. Before you sleep tonight ask Jesus to give you new direction and clarity when you wake in the morning.
Today’s “O Antiphon” – O Adonai (Lord).
and leader of the house of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush,
and who gave him the law on Sinai:
come to redeem us with outstretched arm.