Coming down this morning from our early morning prayers, I glanced at the morning paper as the others went over for Mass. The paper was dark and fearful, oppressed with drama and discord, and I wondered if I should read that paper any longer.
As I had an hour free, I rode out to my favorite bench at Golden Gate Park to get some light and air. The sun had just cleared the eastern horizon and the redoubtable Chinese were doing their morning exercises in the park. I prayed the Office of Readings for the Solemnity of the Annunciation as birdsong filled the air and tiny creatures poked about in the blooming azaleas on my little hilltop. An elderly Chinese couple came puffing up the stairs past my bench, each calling out a joyful “hallo” as they skated back down the hill, all smiles.
It was the Solemnity of the Annunciation. An angel announced the dawn of God’s love to a maiden of Nazareth. She was the first to hear that the darkness was coming to an end. In the 2000 years since that announcement, the world had gone through periods of darkness and light. It seems to be undergoing a period of darkness just now, but light and joy are just as far as a hilltop in the park, or a quiet spot in the church, or a heartfelt moment with another person. “May we,” as the prayer for the Solemnity articulates, “who confess our Redeemer to be God and man,
merit to become partakers even in his divine nature.”