During the Advent season, the Marquette community is encouraged to pause and reflect on our Catholic, Jesuit identity and how each of us can continue to be men and women for others during the celebration of Christmas. Each week, Campus Ministry will offer an Advent reflection, providing an opportunity for us to open our hearts and minds to the spirit of Advent.
Eva to Ave—undoing the separation from God
By Tom Koester, assistant director for Liturgical Music, Campus Ministry
We heard an invitation last week to make space for the coming of God during the Advent Season. During this first week of Advent we might take Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and John the Baptist as two timely guides as we prepare for the Christmas Season.
The twin Marian celebrations this week of the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe and the Immaculate Conception give the example of Mary, who willingly makes space within herself so that God might break into our world. We also hear the familiar call to “prepare a way” from John the Baptist on the second Sunday of Advent. Carrying out his ministry in the barrenness of the desert, John knows something about the value of silence and listening as he calls us to examine the interior spaces of our hearts.
During last week’s Advent lessons and carols service, the Liturgical Choir sang the medieval English carol, “Nova! Nova! Ave fit ex Eva!” which translated from Latin means “News! News! ‘Ave’ has been made from ‘Eve’!”
The carol retells the story from the Gospel of Luke of the Angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary (Luke 1:26). The poet uses clever wordplay in retelling the news that Mary, sometimes referred to as the “New Eve,” or in Latin, “Eva,” was the willing agent for the “undoing” of Eve’s disobedience. The first word that the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary at the Annunciation was “Ave,” which is “Eva” backwards and playfully illustrates the reversal of the first sin of Eve. The “yes” of Mary undoes the disobedience of Eve.
As we find models of discipleship in Mary and John, we might consider for ourselves—How might I work at undoing the dark spaces and injustice I encounter within my sphere of influence? How might I seek out desert places in order to cultivate interior growth in God’s way?
In celebration of Immaculate Conception day, consider attending the following events:
- The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass on Dec. 7
- The Immaculate Conception Mass at Gesu on Dec. 8 at 12:05 p.m.
- Masses of the Solemnity on Dec. 8 in Saint Joan of Arc Chapel at noon