God Deep as the Nether World, Humankind High as the Sky

God Deep as the Nether World, Humankind High as the Sky March 24, 2021

Deep as the nether world. High as the sky.
“Ia Orana Maria,” by Paul Gauguin. Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.


How can this be?


For the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

Hebrews 10:4-10
Isaiah 7:10-14 & 8:10
Luke 1:26-38


Today the Word of the Lord tells us he has given us the sign … deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!

The sign is Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!”

With us in person with human flesh, human emotion, human intellect, and human will!

As such, he grew to the fullness of earthly life, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried [Apostles’ Creed].

After dying on the cross, Christ joined the poor ranks of the souls of the dead.

In the mystery of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Christ is the sign … deep as the nether world: God is with us as a fellow human freely and faithfully even in death.

Through all of it, Christ is God consecrating himself to humankind in a new and everlasting covenant, and he is humankind consecrating itself to God in a new and everlasting covenant.

As the word of the Lord in the Letter to the Hebrews said today, we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ.

We belong to God in life and in death.

However, the sign from the Lord is not only deep as the nether world, but also high as the sky.

On the third day that would have known his death, Christ rose to new life.

In Christ, humankind has conquered sin, suffering, sadness and death, has ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Our human identity in Christ is both deep as the nether world and high as the sky.

In Christ and in his mother, human identity is utterly full of grace.

We borrow Mary’s question, and turn it to our own use.

How can this be…?

Can we be full of grace, even grace high as the sky?

We know we still freely throw ourselves down beneath sin.

And so then, how should sinners ever come to be children of God?

In the same way that a virgin came to be virginal mother and mother of God: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.

Because of the gift of the Most High’s power, sinners can be reborn as holy children of God, if they but choose freely to live like the handmaid of the Lord, so that it may be done to them according to the angelic word.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
who by the will of the Father
and the work of the Holy Spirit,
came to be enfleshed of the Virgin Mary,

and through your death brought life to the world,
free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood,
from all my sins and from every evil;
keep me always faithful to your commandments,
and never let me be parted from you.


In the victory of his faithfulness, God is with us in his Body and Blood, so that by our own willing, flesh-and-blood faithfulness to him, we can be with him forever as his children.


Turn. Love. Repeat.


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