Vince ran right over to the Annunciation. I asked if he knew who the statues were of and he immediately said "Mary."
I said, "Do you know who the angel is?"
Originally he thought it was St. Michael (because that's the angel he's most familiar with), but I explained that this angel was named Gabriel and got to tell Mary she was going to be Jesus' Mommy!
Vincent looked at their faces while I snapped a few photos. Then he took off running towards the Visitation.
As you can see here, Vince has made himself at home with St. Elizabeth. Her hands are open, almost as if to stop the Blessed Mother from approaching her.
I can almost hear her saying, "Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?"
And yet come Mary does. Come she must. For though news of Jesus' existence has not been announced, St. Elizabeth recognizes His Divine Presence as does her unborn son, John (the-one-day-Baptist), who leaps for joy within her womb.
Mary came, and in her labored procession to accompany Elizabeth in her final months of pregnancy, she unwittingly blessed the world with the very first Eucharistic Procession.
After all, she carried Christ Incarnate within her. She was the first, and most perfect, monstrance.
Mary, for her part, raises both her hands in a gesture of offering. Elizabeth should not be amazed that Mary has come to her, for it is not through Mary's doing that she has become the Mother of God. She is simply the hand-maiden of the Lord, and from this statue, you can just imagine her leading St. Elizabeth in the first of many Magnificats.
"My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour. He looks on his servant in her lowliness; henceforth all ages will call me blessed. The Almighty works marvels for me. Holy his name!"
For the Nativity, I was so happy to see they built a "stable" around the statues. Vincent was quite happy with the set up, too, as he freely went in to "see baby Jesus."
Mar is kneeling, and Joseph has his hands open and slightly outstretched, almost as if awaiting the gift of his newborn Son to be placed in his arms.
Vincent bent down and kissed the Child Jesus as he'd been taught to do at our parish manger. It made me happy that he remembered this small act of reverence.
Then again, he could've just been kissing on another child, because he adores kissing babies on the head. Regardless, I thought it was sweet.
The next mystery, the Presentation, was beautifully done. Vince was already there before I'd even finished taking photos of the Nativity. He kept calling out "Mommy, Mommy! I found birds!"
I thought he'd found a nest or something, but it turns out he was talking about the doves St. Joseph was holding as an offering / ransom as dictated by Jewish custom. The angel between Mary and Joseph isn't actually a part of this particular set (spoiler: Agony in the Garden), but I guess my angle picked him up. Ah well.
This mystery is the precursor to our celebration of Mass. God gives us (represented by Joseph and Mary) the gift of Himself (Christ). We offer this gift back to the Father through our mediator, the priest, and in turn, God ransoms Himself and we are thus blessed to have Him eternally. God is a master at foreshadowing!
This set of statues was interesting because St. Joseph was noticeably missing. The Blessed Mother, looking quite haggard (but again, her hands in prayer as she offers even this terror to God in accordance with His Will) is present, but St. Joseph is nowhere to be found. This is likely due to budgeting constraints, but I noticed it immediately. The scribes were dutifully paying attention to the Christ-child who looked incredibly regal standing on his pedestal teaching them about Himself (the Word of God, fully incarnate). Of course, again the master of foreshadowing, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple was looking forward to the Resurrection. Christ went "missing" during the Paschal feast. It took His parents three days to "find" Him again.
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