So often we speak of the Incarnation
and the Incarnate Word,
but I wonder about Incarnating.
Yes, the Word became Flesh,
I wonder about that process
of developing into flesh,
being formed, hidden deep in the womb of Mary.
After the initial spark of Divine Life
infused her body
when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her,
I wonder about those 40 weeks of darkness
as the Divine Child developed in secret silence.
Just as the spirit hovered over
the waters of creation,
that same spirit guided
the creation of the Word made flesh
as He floated in the sea of amniotic fluid.
I imagine the joy and excitement
of that first advent
as those two women, Mary and Elizabeth,
prepared for the birth of their miraculous babies.
Fiercely courageous and full of the Holy Spirit,
they must have been giddy with laughter
and awestruck silence
at the wonder of their growing bellies.
One carried the child who would be
a voice crying out in the desert,
“Prepare the Way of the Lord”,
the other held the Incarnating Word
who would be the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
One would be the greatest prophet,
the other would be
the fulfillment of all prophecies.
One would baptize with water
and call for repentance,
the other would baptize with the Holy Spirit
and call for forgiveness.
I wonder if Mary, with her gift
of deep contemplation,
could perceive the momentous moment
when the Most Sacred Heart first began to beat.
At only about six weeks along, no one would suspect
she was pregnant with the Son of God,
yet, did her sensitive soul sense
that His Sacred Blood had begun to flow?
And as she grew to full term, did she ache to look
upon the fruit of her womb
and touch his tender fingers and toes
or gaze upon the beauty of his
tiny lips, eyes, ears, and nose?
Did she marvel at how God
could bless the earth so
as to become one of us,
fragile, vulnerable, dependent,
yet perfect and beautiful.
Perhaps at times she doubted Gabriel’s message
and thought it must have been a dream
but then the swift kicks of the baby within her
would jolt her to the reality
of God present within her,
forever united to humanity
in Flesh and Blood,
in Spirit and in Truth,
and most of all in Love.
Yes, that first Advent,
Mary and Elizabeth, were bold pioneers
carving the Way for believers to come.
Despite any hardship,
they valiantly held fast to their faith,
that “with God, nothing is impossible.”
Yes, these two women give us a model
For how to prepare for Christmas.
They may not hang tinsel or send greeting cards,
but they Wait in Silence and in Hope,
fanning the flames of their Faith and Love
in the One who’s Word would come true.
So I ask you this Advent Season,
are you allowing the Incarnating Presence
Of the Holy Spirit to take flesh in your life?
Are you making room for the Most Holy Presence,
to make their Dwelling within you?
Are you awake to the annunciation in each day?
Do you go in search,
like the wise men from the East
to find the Hidden One, the Messiah,
in the most unsuspecting
places, people, and situations?
If not, now is the time to begin the journey.
Instead of making haste with busy preparations,
stop and pause and wonder.
Christi Ortiz is a licensed marriage and family therapist by profession and a poet by passion. She enjoys trying to put to words to that which is wordless and give voice to the dynamic and wild spiritual journey called life. She lives in Spokane with her husband and two children, Emmanuel and Grace. She loves the outdoors and meditating in the early mornings which gives rise to her poetry.