January 3rd was the first General audience of the Holy Father for the year, and I wish I could have been there standing in St. Peter’s square. I have been there before but it only makes me want to go more!
(I took this picture when I was in Rome for Pentecost 2006)
From so many miles away, I wanted to know what Benedict 16 had said so I can try to apply it to my little simple life way up here in Canada.
The theme of his audience was the Origin of Jesus, and focusing on the line from the Nicene Creed
“he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.”
I love the fact that we bow, or even kneel, during this line, but I have to admit I didn’t fully understand why we changed our posture for just that one line. So, as it so often happens, if you look hard enough the Church provides the answer! The Holy Father said: “At this phrase we kneel because the veil that hid God is, so to say, opened and His unfathomable and inaccessible mystery touches us. God becomes Emmanuel, ‘God with us.'”
Even just bringing to mind the fact that God the creator of the universe actually came down to our level and became one of us! is so incredible that just recalling it should fill us with humility and overwhelm us. Maybe that doesn’t happen it our minds and hearts and souls, but at least our physical body can bow before that truth, and hopefully soon our heart and soul and mind will follow suit.
Then the Holy Father spoke about Mary, and I love that be brought her up, because my favourite part of this Christmas season is thinking of her and how she was reacting with all the craziness that he life must have been in those first few days postpartum, first baby, in a strange town, strangers visiting and bringing strange gifts. Of course this moment could not have happened without her cooperation: “Without her, God’s entrance into human history would not have been achieved and that which is central to our Profession of Faith would not have taken place: God is God with us. Mary thus undeniably pertains to our faith in the God who acts, who enters into history. She puts her entire being at His disposition, she ‘accepts’ becoming the place of God’s indwelling.” the Pope said.
Funny how the biggest action is sometimes not a action at all and rather just acceptance. Accepting what God is asking or inviting us to, and letting his plan come to fruition in our life. We don’t have to go out and search for heroic deeds, we rather can bring God’s presence into the world just by accepting God’s presence in our life. I think that is enough to try to work on for one week. It makes me excited for mass tomorrow!