Puzzled, Terrified, Nonsense, Amazed – Remember

These words from this year’s Easter Vigil Gospel leapt out at me all day yesterday as I prayed and prepared for the celebration. Here’s the reading and the homily that resulted:

Eastern tradition gives the angelic announcement at the empty tomb to Gabriel, the one who announced the Incarnation to Mary. The “White Angel” icon, pictured here, has even had a significant role in our contemporary crises and communication:

Considered a beautiful example of European medieval artwork by itself, the image is particularly well-known because it was sent as a message in the first satellite broadcast signal from Europe to America after the peaceful end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Later, the same signal, containing the White Angel, was transmitted into outer-space in an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life forms.

See more about this wonderful image here.

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Author: tomwelbers

I have been a Catholic priest for nearly fifty years, most of that time serving in parish and college campus ministry. I also have professional degrees in theology and liturgy, as well as institutional management, and continue avidly to explore pastoral theology, Scripture, liturgy, ecumenical and interfaith relations, and spiritual direction. I have a passion for sharing insight into our Christian heritage through teaching, writing, and leading pilgrimages, especially to Early Christian World sites in Turkey. Now actively retired from parish ministry, I live at Nazareth House in Los Angeles.

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