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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bishop Barron's Advent Reflection: The New Eve

Your daily Advent reflection...
Fourth Sunday in Advent
The New Eve
As we near the birth of Christ, it’s worth turning to the beautiful and familiar story of the Annunciation. The angel Gabriel comes to a virgin named Mary to announce she will give birth to a son. Although undoubtedly shocked, Mary responds, “I am the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” Mary abandoned her own plans and acquiesced to what God wanted her to do.

The Church Fathers were fond of describing Mary as the new Eve, the new mother of all the living. In fact, some say the angel’s “ave” ("hail") reversed “Eva.”

What was Eve’s problem? Eve grasped at the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, claiming along with Adam that she would be the criterion of right and wrong, that her will would determine the nature of the good. Every one of our spiritual and moral problems flows from this primordial sin. But when Mary says, “Let it be done to me according to your word,” this spiritual momentum is stopped and then reversed. It is this reversal that allows Christ to be born into the world.

Meister Eckhart noted that every Christian has the vocation of Mary, to bring Christ to birth. We each do this in our own ways and styles, according to the exigencies of our unique vocations. But we do this, Eckhart saw, the same way Mary did: by abandoning our projects and plans, our sense of the good life, and acquiescing to God’s purpose working through us.

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