Sunday, July 18, 2010


We spent today in Cana and Nazareth---spending time with Mary, the mother of Jesus.

I had been to the Basilica of the Annunciation in 2000, so didn't think that there was anything new to see or experience. I was wrong.

The basilica's walls and courtyards are covered with art from all over the world depicting Mary. I love them all---well, except for the one from the United States. It's a bit embarrassing. Art is something that, when done well, gives us a glimpse into the Holy. The piece from the U.S. doesn't give me a glimpse into the Holy. I'll post it at some point.

Having said that, there was a piece of art that I had missed on my first trip----this sculpture of the Annunciation stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away.

This young Mary has just received Gabriel's news that she is to be the mother of the Savior, and she turns away from him with a look that says "WHAT did you just say?"

I love this.

One of the questions that we reflected on today was:

How do I know that Mary's response was one of genuine open-ness and not simply naivete?

Keep in mind that Mary was a young girl of perhaps 14 when Gabriel came calling....she knew that to be a pregnant, unwed mother was a crime in 1st century Palestine---a crime punishable by death. That explains the look on her face. She knew that to say 'yes' to Life, meant to also say 'yes' to the possibility of her own death, execution style.

She said 'yes' anyways. Her courage blows me away.

This piece of art gives us a glimpse into that moment before she gave her answer.....

(thanks to Jo for the photo today---my CF card reader broke, and finding a new one isn't going to be easy....)


2jacks said...

Love it, too. Thanks for sharing.

We were young and very naive (at least I was) when we were called to ministry. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into at the time. We said "yes" and look where it got us! I suppose we have "given birth" to Jesus, in a way, but certainly didn't have to face the same risk that she did.

What an awesome woman she must have been.

It is fun to make this retreat along with you in a virtual way, through your blog. Thanks.

Enjoy! And keep the photos and reflections coming.

Angela said...

I don't think I would have had that courage at age 14. Then again, would I have that courage now?

I think about being in high school and starting my work in the church as a catechist. I didn't know how to say no and I didn't know what I was getting myself into but 25 years later, I am still doing it.

Ginnie and Torben said...

Loving your posts and pix...thinking of you from oh so far away in the Canadian wildnerness. Hi to Jo too.