There was a certain chill in the air last night as I wrapped up another semester in seminary and made my way through the seminary campus. I noticed the beautiful Christmas lights in the neighborhood as the bell rang, my stomach growled, and I made my way to dinner.
The people of the world are preparing to give each other gifts that were purchased at Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even the malls as its parking lots begin to fill up with anxious, annoyed, cheerful, and many times stressed Christmas shoppers. But to think that this is what Christmas is all about would miss the mark of whom this season is named after.
Today, December 8, is a solemnity throughout the world. We celebrate how God chose a simple young virgin girl from Nazareth to be the God-bearer of his Word Incarnate. He chose her from the moment of her conception and exempted her from the stain of Original Sin, so that the Word may have a suitable vessel to as he breaks into our frail humanity for one purpose: to redeem us.
But to say that her YES, her fiat, is a passive one would also miss the mark. Her fiat is an acceptance to participate in the divine mission of her Son. She will closely associate herself with his purpose and mission. Her fiat will reach its peak at Calvary. This is the meaning behind Christmas – the God-man breaks into our humanity through the consent of a virgin. No wonder the angel proclaimed, Ave Maria gratia plena! She remained a virgin before the birth of Christ, during the birth of Christ, and after the birth of Christ. Further, her virginity is not only associated with her body, but her whole self – consecrating her whole life, emotions, and feelings to the mission of her Son!