Gabriel’s Message, sometimes called ‘The Angel Gabriel Came,’ comes from a Basque folk song sung in churches during the Advent season. It’s one of my favourite carols, lyrics based on Gabriel’s visitation to Mary to tell her she’s about to give birth to the Messiah. Unfortunately, the angel leaves out the part about her son getting executed in the most brutal way possible. I have a feeling she did know and pondering it in her heart, she did that a lot, seemed to say ‘let me think this over.’
The next three music Mondays will feature Christmas music as we deal with the insanity of Christmas shopping, Muzak over speakers, and formulate strategies for coping with relatives over the holidays. I love Christmas yet don’t mind saying ‘Happy Holidays.’ Unfortunately, people get a little nutty about whether or not to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or writing Xmas as opposed to putting the ‘Christ’ in ‘Christmas.’ While we hash out saying Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays, people lose track it’s not about keeping Christ in Christmas.
It’s about doing what Jesus did all year round.
Lately, especially in the States, Jesus’ teachings regarding the poor and marginalised have turned inside out. The very Christians, including some ‘good’ Catholics, look like Pharisees day by day. If someone gave me a choice between being a good Catholic and being a good person, I take one look at Paul Ryan, Steve Bannon, Kellie Leitch, and a few people from my old parish, and chose to be a good person all day, every day, and twice on Sundays. People often say religion serves as a crutch for life. I say it’s more like a blindfold keeping people from seeing.
However, the music of the season, the hope brought by Jesus’ birth, continues to renew me. It points out to me to do good, be better, to see humanity in the students I serve and the people on the streets of Winnipeg. To remember love serves as the root of the season, the concept God decided to get closer to humanity and in turn we learn to get back in touch with ours.