Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Advent 2022 Day 24


To open ourselves to love is to open ourselves to a broken heart. This is the wisdom old Anna and Simeon share with Mary, that a sword shall pierce her heart. As this mother watches her firstborn son grow, leaving behind ages and stages of development that will never be shared between them again. As her beloved Joseph dies, an event so heartbreaking that it is hidden from us, and their son reaches other milestones, Mary will not be able to share her joy and pride with his father. As her son leaves home. As he encounters rejection and opposition. As Mary realizes that she must let him go. All these heartbreaks, before ever she stands at the foot of an executioner’s scaffold and watches her son die the most tortuous, public, humiliating death; as his body is taken down, and she cradles him in her arms, as she had done so many times before, so long ago. As she washed away the sweat and blood and shit and wrapped him in cloth—again, recalling days long since lost, back at the beginning, when she first loved this man, son, Jesus.

To open ourselves to love is to open ourselves to a broken heart. And yet, we are compelled by love, compelled to love. A broken heart is not a heart no longer capable of holding love. It is a heart broken open, that love might flow. And so the Hell of loss, of separation, is overwhelmed, one broken heart at a time.


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