We began Advent with two goals. 1) Try to get these new Mass responses right. 2) Prepare to celebrate a non-superficial Christmas.
A superficial Christmas practically ends before it begins. A superficial Christmas feels like work, not a holiday. A superficial Christmas costs too much money. A superficial Christmas leaves a person angry at one relative or another, out of sorts, and five pounds heavier.
How can we have a non-superficial Christmas?
Well, one “person” knows how to do it. Namely, the Church. But our Mother the Church does not take credit for inventing the proper way to celebrate Christmas. The Church learned how to do it from the true master of the non-superficial Christmas. Namely, the Virgin Mary.
“Hail, Mary!” The archangel Gabriel saluted the unique woman, indeed a new Eve. Hail, Mary. Hail, favored one.
This woman lived and breathed nothing but the will of God. No one has ever been more perfectly aware of the fundamental fact of life: I am the work of the Creator’s hands. The Blessed Mother studied this fact with every gaze of her eyes, with every sound she heard, everything she tasted, felt.
At the moment the angel arrived to greet her, Mary’s soul rested in perfect stillness. She liked to read. She didn’t watch t.v.
“What does this mean, that a glorious angel would visit me, go down on one knee before me, make such a proposal to me? Let me inquire, let me seek the truth…”