Detail from Salvador Dali, Crucifixion (‘Corpus Hypercubus’), 1954.
Mercy and truth have met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring up from the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
The LORD will indeed grant prosperity,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before him,
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.
On this feast of the Annunciation I can’t help seeing in Mary the “peace” that the Psalmist sings about: kissed by God’s righteousness and making a pathway for the Messiah’s feet.
God’s righteousness did indeed go before Jesus, who spent his earthly ministry walking from place to place announcing that the Kingdom of God had come near.
His mother Mary’s firm assent to God’s purposes and her role in them, her pondering them in her heart, the “sword that pierced her heart also,” these all became part of the pathway for Jesus’ feet, helping not only to set but also to confirm the direction his life would take.
And when his path led him to Jerusalem, to conflict with religious leaders and imperial authorities, to betrayal and scourging and crucifixion, peace came again and stood at his feet.
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger
who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
As we say the Benedictus at Morning Prayer today, may we also take to heart our role as members of Christ’s Body to follow Christ in the way of the cross, to proclaim God’s kingdom, and to participate like Mary in the unfolding of God’s righteous purpose for creation:
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the
shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
(Canticle 16, BCP 93)