Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The family and I spent the morning at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. A small group of Spanish-speaking pilgrims were celebrating Mass in the Grotto, the site of Mary's "yes", when we arrived, and another group of eager, bubbly pilgrims from Lagos were "on deck" for the next slot. Outside the Basilica, on nearby walls, are banners with anti-Christian propaganda, and underneath them locals sell inflatable Santa Clauses and Spider Men. A strange scene, at a place around which the salvation history of the world turns. Even today, someone could be forgiven for expressing surprise that anything good could come out of Nazareth. And yet . . .