As Advent begins we will again hear the stories of two scriptural figures – Zechariah and Mary of Nazareth. They were both visited by an Angel bearing a message of new life, and they both responded with a question.
Zechariah asked, “How will I know that this is so?” His question, based on incredulity, rendered him mute.
Mary, on the other hand, asked, “How can this be, since I am a Virgin?” Her question was based on her desire to better understand how she might cooperate with and live out the Angel’s message for her. She stopped and paid attention to the answer.
Who are our Angels today? Who comes to us bearing messages of life?
- Young people who strike from school in order to bring our attention to the urgency of the climate emergency. They strike for their future and the future of the entire planet.
- Thousands of scientists who also want us to understand the severity of the climate crisis. Their message includes the very practical ways in which we can slow down and reverse the tide, if we act NOW!
Will we, like Zechariah, ask questions that debate the veracity of the messengers and render ourselves not only mute, but paralyzed and unable to move forward?
Or will we, like Mary of Nazareth, ask questions and really listen to the answers so that we may understand better what it is we need to do as citizens of Earth to sustain and grow new life in harmony with all of God’s creation?