Angels and Such: Journeying Toward Christmas

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Peace

 I know!  I know!  I was busy having a rant about OUSTING on a Sunday evening…what’s with that?  Well, I will change my tone for the moment!  I was so grateful for the courage of our priest as he addressed the issue of angels, on so many different levels….from the moment that our hoards of children were blessed and went on their way to Sunday school, through the readings and nicely into the homily and hymns.  The Gospel reading follows and I will cite Holy Scripture as my source.

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.”Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
It’s a mystical thing, feeling like angels are with you.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had that experience.  I once read a book about Padre Pio while flying to London, so that I might join my daughter on a back-packing trip from Palermo, Sicily up the west coast of Italy to Venice.  Those of you who know me well, know that I am not keen on flying and I found the words of the book I was reading very helpful…in fact, I had a peace come over me, once I spent time in prayer, a peace I could only explain by an intervention of sorts.  I have many ‘unbelievers’ in my life, so I completely understand if you consider me a lunatic at this point in this writing, but let me just reiterate that my peace could only be explained by an experience of divine grace.

Friends are angels.

This teddy-angel was a gift from Glori years ago.  She and I go back to 1973.  Glori IS an angel!  She has sewn countless quilts for young ladies who have found themselves pregnant out of marriage.  Presently, she is busy decorating the Sunday school room in her church.  She does so much to show her love to the world.  In my mind, and by my definition, she is a single example of an angel in my life.

Jack and Jarrett

I have a couple of ornaments that I hang on my tree as a way of remembering two of the angels that I’ve lost in this lifetime, Jarrett Alley and an artist-friend, Jack.  I think that life is interesting because while there isn’t a year when we don’t lose someone who we love and care about, we also see new babys born, bright-eyed and full of innocence, and we observe the celebrations of birthdays, graduations and marriages.  There is such mystery on this circle we share!