The Annunciation for Advent


Advent is historically a season of fasting before the great festival of the Incarnation – no baby means no Passion, no Resurrection – and this baby is to be the channel of God’s grace that is to flow through each one of us.


In the church, Advent has become the season of the last Judgement – broken rules and punishment.  But it is also the season of HOPE….and of PROMISE.  The great centre of faith, of existence, is Incarnation – God in human terms, ‘God in man made manifest’ – God reconciling  himself to us through Christ.


When the angel, like an ambassador to a queen, faces Mary, he offers her  gift which is nothing less than God’s life in humanity – to come through her – if she consents – to full human reality.  Will she say Yes or No? 

The Annunciation
Sr Theresa Margaret CHN

In the painting the gift is made visible as a sign in the air – the hands of angel and girl do not touch it or each other.  The ‘sign’ is a small circle representing the cosmos – creation – with a central line crossing it to represent the flow of time – crossed by a vertical – eternity – at the centre…. The moment of Mary’s answer.


Mary, throughout Christian art, represents not only the young woman  who was mother to Jesus.  She also represents the wider church, in fact all humanity, maybe all creation.  Each of us is Mary as she is here, being offered a part in the Incarnation, the grace to live out Christ’s life in our own life and situation.  As Meister Eckhart said in a Christmas sermon ‘What is the point of Christ  being born 1300 years ago in Bethlehem if He is not born in me today?’  That is the continuing Incarnation in and through us  - that is how the Kingdom comes.

Sr Theresa Margaret CHN

Look North Looks In

In November the community was visited by the BBC Local News who had asked if they could do a short piece about a group of nuns arriving in Hessle.  

Click below to watch