Annunciation

Photo by Walter Chávez on Unsplash
The Gospel for the fourth Sunday of Advent, tells us the story of the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus.  At this moment Christ comes into our world.   As we say in the Angelus “The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary and she conceived by the Holy Spirit”.  At Midnight Mass, as we move into our celebration of Christmas, we shall hear the story of the birth of Mary’s child.  On the Sunday after Christmas the Feast of the Holy Family...
‘The Annunciation’ by Helen Elwes. Photo: Campion Hall
A very ordinary painting prompts an Oxford philosopher to think about the extraordinary feast that we observe on 25 March. When we contemplate the Annunciation, are we trying to understand, to penetrate, to grasp the transcendent mystery beneath what, on the surface, is very ordinary; or to recover a sense of the very ordinariness of the events which bore so much theological weight? At the top of a staircase in Campion Hall, the Jesuit-run private hall in the University of Oxford, there...