Monday, December 17, 2012

Surrender in the Annunciation Mosaic

Our third and final paper on the mosaic of the Annunication is from Brother Rudy Martinez, a member of the Missionairies of the Holy Spirit and a college-one seminarian at Mount Angel Seminary.

Two previous papers by Brother Marinus Kim and Randy Hoang have also been published on the MAS journalism blog.

Your Will Be Done: The Majestic Act in the Annunciation Mosaic of Mount Angel Seminary
by Brother Rudy Martinez

As one enters the Annunciation building of Mount Angel Seminary, one can see the Annunciation mosaic.  The mosaic can also be seen as the act of the Incarnation.  The mosaic's size and its outstanding colors attract the attention of the ones entering the building.  As I meditate on the Annunciation mosaic one phrase that describes more fully what I see in the mosaic is simply: surrender to the Father.

For us Catholics the Incarnation of the Son of God is the distinction of our faith.  I would say that Mount Angel Seminary is the perfect place for this mosaic to be because it represents the distinction of our faith as Christian Catholics.  I also think that the mosaic being in the seminary is a powerful invitation for those wanting to do God's will in their lives, especially the seminarians, just as Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mary, and the Archangel did.

Brother Rudy with the mosaic of the Annunciation

Meditating on the different characters in the mosaic I was able to find complete surrender to the will of God the Father from each one of them.  Mary humbles herself in many ways but mainly by saying yes to the archangel.  In the mosaic we can see Mary holding a spindle, but she is holding the spindle down as a symbol of denying herself, setting aside her work at the moment.  By Mary holding down the spindle she is representing how she is leaving what she knows in life in order to give her whole attention to God. 

The way Mary is dressed is representing royalty, for she is wearing a purple dress and red shoes, and both stand for royalty.  Mary is wearing a red mantle and it represents sacrifice.  Something that called my attention when I first saw the mosaic was to see how even if Mary seems to be in conversation with the archangel she is not looking at him; instead she is looking up to heaven.

The archangel seems to be explaining to Mary what the will of God is for her; he is describing the way the Incarnation will occur.  The Archangel Gabriel is also representing humility by obeying God in taking his message to Mary.  The archangel is holding a scroll in his hand as a sign that he is to deliver a message.  His is also wearing a blue ribbon on his head symbolizing someone from heaven.  Combining both the scroll and the ribbon I can say that the archangel is a messenger from heaven.  Something that comes to my mind by seeing the archangel is that we as Christians are supposed to be like the archangel, messengers from heaven; especially as seminarians we must be conscious of that as our first duty.

In the mosaic one can find the Holy Spirit represented in a dove.  We can find the dove holding a book on top of an altar; the book represents Jesus.  In the Holy Spirit one can see the act of humbleness by coming upon Mary and being part of the sacrifice of the Son in the Incarnation.  I was able to find great humiliation in God in the mosaic by just imagining the sacrifice the Holy Trinity passed through in the Incarnation of God.  The mosaic represents the enormous love from God towards his children.

In the Son of God, represented as the Word in the mosaic, I was able to find the greatest act of love from the Son towards the Father, the great docility from the Son to the Holy Spirit in order to do the will of the Father.  In the mosaic one finds the Word placed, by the Holy Spirit, on top of an altar.  The altar is covered with a red cloth. 

The altar reminds me of two things, Mary and the sacrifice of the Lord.  Something that calls my attention from the altar is that the altar is covered with the same red mantle as Mary; this helped me realize that Mary is where the sacrifice takes place.  As I was assimilating the similitude between Mary and the altar of sacrifice I was wondering if Mary did know of the pain and sacrifices she would go through in union with the Holy Trinity.

In the mosaic God the Father is represented in the form of clouds.  I was fascinated to see that the clouds in the mosaic seem to be moving clouds, like in a storm.  These clouds are not just clouds behind the scene but they are moving to embrace the whole picture.  At first glance it seems like the clouds are a very small part of the mosaic, but in reality they are surrounding the whole act of the Annunciation and Incarnation.

The half-circle part, where the whole Trinity is represented, seems to me like an icon inside the mosaic; that part explains the whole sacrifice of the Incarnation.  In God the Father one can find a great act of humility when considering that He is sacrificing his only Son for the salvation of his children.  I am also very attracted to see that in the mosaic the Trinity is humbled in order to have Mary as the central character of the Annunciation; it seems as if Mary is the hope of the whole Trinity.

The Annunciation mosaic helps me realize how the greatest act of love implied much humiliation from Mary, the angel, and even more admiringly from the Holy Trinity.  The mosaic tells of the complete obedience and surrender to the will of God the Father from the Son, the Holy Spirit, Mary, and the Archangel.  Something I perceived was how this mosaic is in the perfect place by being in the seminary.  We as seminarians should be in constant discernment trying to do God's will, just as each of the characters in the mosaic. 

The mosaic is an invitation for the seminarians of Mount Angel Seminary and for anyone to be docile to the will of God the Father and to surrender to His will, just as Jesus, Mary, the Holy Spirit, and the Archangel are.  Something that arouses in me as I mediate on this beautiful mosaic is the need to promote the meditation of this mosaic among the seminarians.  I find much light in this mosaic in the discernment of my vocation, and I think anyone who comes to it can find a personal message as long as one is open to it.  Hopefully by mediating on the mosaic we can answer to God, as Mary and Jesus, "your will be done."

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