Praying a rosary recently for the folks on a parish retreat provided a great pause for thought.
There is great beauty in the rosary. The mysteries call to mind the life of Christ -- his birth, miracles, suffering, and resurrection. Repeating the prayers promotes a meditative and mindful state.
We had decided on a scriptural rosary, focusing on the joyful mysteries -- the events that led to the birth of our Savior and His dedication to the Father. A scriptural rosary includes Bible verses or passages that illustrate the various mysteries, or offer deeper insight into them.
As we reflected on the visit of the angel Gabriel to Mary, and God’s invitation to her to be the mother of His son, one of the meditations stood out, prompting us to deeper thought, and to discussion after we finished praying.
“The incarnation awaits Mary’s consent,” read the reflection, from Praying the Rosary Without Distractions (published by the Dominican Friars at the Rosary Center in Portland, Ore.).
Yes, the incarnation -- the arrival of Jesus in the world as flesh and blood, human as we are, in all ways but sin -- awaited Mary’s consent. The collective breath of all creation was held, pending the “yes” that changed everything.
The world’s history changed, not only for the nation of Israel that had long held hope for a Messiah to come into the world to save them from exile and oppression, but for the whole world, as Christ’s ultimate sacrifice opened the gates of eternity to all who profess faith in Him.
Time changed, as history came to be recorded from “before Christ,” B.C., to Anno Domini, A.D, in the year of our Lord. (Historians have changed these designations in recent years, for political correctness, but we won’t go into that here.)
And the incarnation awaits consent from each of us.
God invites every soul, every life, to be a Christ-bearer, to say “yes” to Christ abiding in each of us.
He says, “I’d like to come into your heart, to make my home with you, to live with and in you, to be the Love that lights your life.” Allowing His love to change us will change everything.
The incarnation awaits.
Creation, history, and time itself change with our answer.
All we have to do is say “yes.”